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Victoria  College 


L.    E.    HORNING,  B.A.,  Ph.D. 



Slang  and  Colloquial  English 


SLANG    AND    ITS    ANALOGUES.       By  John   S. 

Farmer   and   W.   E.  Henley,  with   the   revised 

Vol.  L     7  vols. 
MUSA     PEDESTBIS,     Slang    Songs    and    Canting 

Rhymes  (1636-1896).     1  voL 
MERRY  SONGS  AND  BALLADS.     5  vols. 
CHOICE  OF  VALENTINES,  a  hitherto  unpublished 

MS.  of  Thomas  Nash.     1  voL 
A  SATYRICALL  DIALOGUE.      By  William  God- 

dard.     1  voL 

photo-facsimile  of  the  oldest  Slang  Dictionary 

extant     1  vol. 


ARMY.     1  voL 

A  Dictionary  of  Slang 
and  Colloquial  English 

Abridged  from  the  seven-volume  work,  entitled 

Slang  and  its  Analogues 

BY   JOHN    S.    FARMER 
AND    W.    E.    HENLEY 


George  Routledge  &  Sons,  Limited 

New  York:    E.  P.  Button   &   Co. 


A    LIST 



%*  The  figures  in  brackets,  thus  [1585],  which  occur  in  the  text  may  be  taken 
as  indicating,  in  most  cases,  the  date  of  the  earliest  illustrative  quotation 
given  in  the  larger  work,  '  Slang  and  its  Analogues. ' 




1553.  WITHALS,  JOHN    . 

1570.  LEVINS  (or  LEVENS),  PETER 
1575.  AWDELEY,  JOHN  . 

Promptorium  Parvulorum  sive 
clericorum.  The  first  English- 
Latin  Dictionary. 

L'Esclarcissement  de  la  Langue 

Abecedarium  Anglico-Latinum  pro 

A  Little  Dictionarie  for  Children 
(Latin  and  English). 

Caveat  or  Warening  for  Common 
Cursetors  vulgarly  called  Vaga- 
bones.  The  earliest  Glossary  of 
the  language  of  "  the  Canting 

Manipulus  Vocabulorum. 

Vacabondes,  the  Fraternatye  of,  as 
well  as  of  ruflyng  Vacabones,  as 
of  beggerly,  of  Women  as  of 
Men,  of  Gyrles  as  of  Boyes,  with 
their  proper  Names  and  Qualities, 
with  a  Description  of  the  Crafty 
Company  of  Cousoners  and 
Shifters,  also  the  XXV.  Orders 
of  Knaves;  otherwyse  called  a 
Quartern  of  Knaves,  confirmed 
by  Cocke  LorelL 

A  List  of  Dictionarie*  and  Other  Work*. 

1686.  WITHALS.  JOHN    . 

1595.  FLORIO,  JOHN 

1599.  MINSHEU,  JOHN    . 


1616.  B[ULLOKAB],  J[OHN]     . 

1617.  MINSHEU,  JOHN    . 

1656.  BLOUNT,  THOMAS  . 

1660.  HOWKLL,  JAMES   . 

1674.  HEAD,  RICHABD   . 
1677.  MIEOE,  GUY  . 

c.  1696.  E.  B.,  GENT     . 

1719.  SMITH,  CAPT. 
1721.  BAILEY,  NATHAN  . 

1724.  SMITH,  CAPT. 

1754.  ANON 


A  Shorte  Dictionarie  in  Latine  and 

Dictionarie,  French  and  English. 

A  Worlde  of  Wordes ;  a  most  copi- 
ous Dictionarie  of  the  Italian 
and  English  Tongues. 

Dictionarie  in  Spanish  and  English 
(Percivale's  ed.). 

Dictionarie  de  la  langue  franc  aise. 

English  Expositor  of  Hard  Words. 

Guide  into  the  Tongues,  English, 
British  or  Welsh,  Low  Dutch, 
High  Dutch,  French,  Italian, 
Spanish  Portuguese,  Latin,Greek, 
and  Hebrew. 

Glofisographia,  or  Dictionary  inter- 
preting the  hard  words  now  used 
in  our  refined  English  language. 

The  New  World  of  English  Words, 
or  a  General  Dictionary  contain- 
ing the  interpretations  of  such 
hard  words  as  are  derived  from 
other  languages  (Florio's  Dic- 
tionary revised). 

Lexicon  Tetraglotton,  an  English- 
French  -  Italian  -  Spanish  Dic- 

Canting  Academy,  with  Compleat 
Canting  Glossary. 

A  New  Dictionary,  French  and 
English,  with  another,  English 
and  French. 

A  New  Dictionary  of  the  Terms, 
Ancient  and  Modern,  of  the  Cant- 
ing Crew  in  its  several  Tribes 
(the  earliest  Slang  Dictionary, 
per  se). 

Lives  of  Highwaymen,  containing 
Canting  Glossary. 

An  Universal,  Etymological  English 
Dictionary,  comprehending  the 
Derivation  of  the  Generality  of 
Words  in  the  English  Tongue, 
either  Ancient  or  Modern. 

Thieves'  Dictionary. 

Etymological  English  Dictionary. 
A  Collection  of  Ancient  and 
Modern  Cant  Words  appears  as 
appendix  to  VoL  ii. 

The  Scoundrel's  Dictionary;  or, 
An  Explanation  of  the  Cant- 
words  used  by  Thieves,  House- 
breakers, Street  -  robbers,  and 
Pick-pockete  about  Town. 

A  Marine  Dictionary. 

A  List  of  Dictionaries  and  Other  Works. 

1785.  GROSE,  FRANCIS   . 

1790.  PORTER,  JOHN 


1808.  JAMIESON,  JOHN  . 

1812.  VAUX,  J.  H. . 
1812.  ANON    . 

1822.  NARES,  ROBERT    . 

1823.  BEE,  GEORGE 

1829.  GRIMSHAW,  WILLIAM    . 

1841.  DANA,  R.  H.,  JTJN. 
1846.  HALLIWELL,  JAMES  0. . 

1848.  BARTLETT,  JOHN  R. 

1848.  ANON    «        *  » 



1859.  [Edited  by  JOHN    CAMDEN 

A  Dictionary  of  the  Vulgar  Tongue. 

Diversions  of  Purley. 

Dictionary  of  all  the  Cant  and  Flash 

Gradus  ad  Cantabrigiam,  or  a  Dic- 
tionary of  the  Terms  Academical 
and  Colloquial,  or  Cant,  which 
are  used  at  the  University. 

An  Etymological  Dictionary  of  the 
Scottish  Language.  2vols.,with 
supplement,  2  vols. 

Flash  Dictionary. 

Bang-up  Dictionary,  or  the  Lounger 
and  Sportsman's  Vade-mecum. 

A  Glossary  of  Words  and  Phrases, 
etc.,  in  the  Works  of  English 
Authors,  particularly  Shake- 
speare and  his  Contemporaries. 
(New  ed.,  with  considerable 
additions  by  J.  O.  Halh'well  and 
Thomas  Wright,  1876). 

A  Dictionary  of  the  Turf,  the  Ring, 
The  Chase,  the  Pit,  of  Bon  Ton 
and  the  Varieties  of  Life,  forming 
the  completest  Lexicon  Bala- 
tronicum  ever  offered  to  the 
Sporting  World. 

The  Ladies'  Lexicon  and  Parlour 

Dictionary  of  Sea  Terms. 

A  Dictionary  of  Archaic  and  Pro- 
vincial Words.  2  vols. 

Dictionary  of  American  Words  and 
Phrases  (ed.  of  1877). 

Sinks  of  London  laid  open ;  a 
Pocket  Companion  for  the  Un- 
initiated, to  which  is  added  a 
modern  Flash  Dictionary,  con- 
taining all  the  Cant  Words,  Slang 
Terms,  and  Flash  Phrases  now 
in  Vogue,  with  a  list  of  the 
Sixty  Orders  of  Prime  Coves. 

The  Vulgar  Tongue.  Two  Glossaries 
of  Slang  and  Flash  Words  and 

A  Dictionary  of  Modern  Slang, 
Cant,  and  Vulgar  Words  after- 
wards entitled  The  Slang  Dic- 
tionary, Etymological,  Historical, 
and  Anecdotal  (latest  ed.,  1885). 

Liber  Vagatorum:  Der  Betler 
Orden,  4to.  Translated  into 
English,  with  Notes,  by  John 
Camden  Hotten,  as  the  Book  of 
Vagabonds  and  Beggars,  with  a 


A  List  of  Dictionaries  and  Other  Worla. 

1879-82.  SKBAT,  RBV.  W.  W. 

1880.  BREWER,  REV.  E.  COBHAM  . 

1881.  KWONO  KI  CHIIT   . 

1881.  DAVTES,  REV.  T.  L.  O. . 

1884-1904.  MUBBAY,  JAMES  A.  H. 
and  A.  CRAIOIE) 

1886.  YULE,  COL.  H.,  &  BTTBNELL, 



1888.  FARMER,  JOHN  S. . 

1889.  BARRERE,  A.,  and  LELAND 

1900.  FARMER,  JOHN  S. 

vocabulary  of  their  Language 
(Rotwdeche  Sprach) ;  edited,  with 
preface,  by  Martin  Luther,  in 
the  year  1528. 

Etymological  Dictionary  of  the 
English  Language,  arranged  on 
an  Historical  Basis. 

Reader's  Handbook  of  Allusions, 
References,  Plots,  and  Stories. 

A  Dictionary  of  English  Phrases, 
with  Illustrative  Sentences. 

A  Supplementary  English  Glossary. 

Every  -  day  Life  in  our  Public 
Schools.  (Contains  a  Glossary 
of  Public  School  Slang.) 

A  New  English  Dictionary  on 
Historical  Principles,  Founded 
mainly  on  the  Materials  collected 
by  the  Philological  Society.  In 

Hobson-Jobson,  being  a  Glossary 
of  Anglo-Indian  Colloquial  Words 
and  Phrases,  Etymological,  His- 
torical, Geographical,  and  Dis- 

The  New  English. 

Argot  and  Slang. 

Americanisms,  Old  and  New. 

Slang,  Jargon,  and  Cant. 

The  Public  School  Word  Book. 


Slang  and  Colloquial  English 

A.  A  per  se.  The  best ;  first-class ; 
Al  (q.v.) :  see  Tip-top.  The  usage 
became  popular  and  was  extended  to 
other  vocables.  As  subs.,  a  paragon 
(1470).  Al.  (1)  Prime;  first-class, 
of  the  best.  The  character  A  denotes 
New  Ships,  of  Ships  Renewed  or  Re- 
stored. The  Stores  of  Vessels  are  de- 
noted by  the  figures  1  and  2  ;  1  signi- 
fying that  the  Vessel  is  well  and  suffi- 
ciently found  (Key,  Lloyd's  Register). 
Also  First-class,  letter  A  ;  Al  copper- 
bottomed  ;  and  Al  and  no  mistake  : 
Fr.  marque  cl  V A  (money  coined  in 
Paris  was  formerly  stamped  with  an  A). 
Cf.  A  per  se  (1369).  (2)  Sometimes 
(erroneously)  No.  1.  Atitlefor  the  com- 
mander of  900  men  in  the  army  of  the 
Irish  Republican  Brotherhood  :  obso- 
lete Fenian.  Not  knowing  great  A  (ora 

K\    irnvn    n    7)«7/'*.//W  tr>r  n    hnHloJ™-0\ 

The  late  Mr.  W.  E.  Henley,  who  died  in 
July,  i go 3,  is  not  responsible  for  any  errors 
in  this  volume  abridged  in  1904-5  from 
Slang  and  its  Analogues,  in  seven  volumes, 
edited  by  him  and  by  Mr.  J.  P.  Farmer 

Haron,  a  mountaineer.]  (2)  The 
leader  of  a  gang  of  thieves ;  always 
with  '  the  '  as  a  prefix.  (3)  A  leader 
o  the  church  (1607). 

A.  B.  An  A  [ble]-b[odied]  seaman. 

Abba.  A  term  of  contempt :  gen- 
eric. As  subs.,  a  non-unionist:  as  adj., 
vile,  silly. 

Aback.  To  take  aback,  to  surprise, 
check  :  suddenly  and  forcibly.  [Orig. 
nautical :  in  which  sense  (0.  E.  D.) 
dating  from  1754.] 

Abacter  (or  Abactor).  Stealera 
of  Cattle  or  Beasts,  by  Herds,  or  great 
numbers ;  and  were  distinguished 
from  Fures  (Blount). 

Abaddon.  A  thief  turned  informer  ; 
a  snitcher  (q.v.).  [Obviously  a  Jew 
fence's  punning  reference  to  Abaddon, 
the  angel  of  the  bottomless  pit  ;  Rev. 
i-r  n  i 

ana)  thief. 
:ewer :  A 
ma  lad.] 

pi.,  spec. 

tten  Row. 

abstract ; 

.  A  bawd; 
'q.v.) :  cf. 
X5.  (1770.) 
bbey  to  a 
o  able  to 
ak  it  of  an 
jpence ;  to 
make  of  a 
D  thwite  a 
rick ;  His 
*>  a  nut- 

A  List  of  Dictionaries  and  Other  Works. 

1879-82.  SKKAT,  REV.  W.  W. 

1880.  BREWER,  REV.  E.  COBHAM   . 

1881.  KWONO  KI  Cmu   . 

1881.  DAVIES,  REV.  T.  L.  0. . 


1884-1904.  MURRAY,  JAMBS  A.  H. 
and  A.  CRAIOIE) 

1886.  YULE,  COL.  H.,  &  BUBNELL, 



1888.  FARMER,  JOHN  S. . 

1889.  BARRERE,  A.,  and  LELAND, 

1900.  FARMER,  JOHN  S. 

vocabulary  of  their  Language 
(Rotwdsche  Sprach) ;  edited,  with 
preface,  by  Martin  Luther,  in 
the  year  1528. 

Etymological  Dictionary  of  the 
English  Language,  arranged  on 
an  Historical  Basis. 

Reader's  Handbook  of  Allusions, 
References,  Plots,  and  Stories. 

A  Dictionary  of  English  Phrases, 
with  Illustrative  Sentences. 

A  Supplementary  English  Glossary. 

Every  -  day  Life  in  our  Public 
Schools.  (Contains  a  Glossary 
of  Public  School  Slang.) 

A  New  English  Dictionary  on 
Historical  Principles,  Founded 
mainly  on  the  Materials  collected 
by  the  Philological  Society.  In 

Hobson-Jobson,  being  a  Glossary 
of  Anglo-Indian  Colloquial  Words 
and  Phrases,  Etymological,  His- 
torical, Geographical,  and  Dis- 

The  New  English. 

Argot  and  Slang. 

Americanisms,  Old  and  New. 

Slang,  Jargon,  and  Cant. 

The  Public  School  Word  Book. 


Slang  and  Colloquial  English 

A.  A  per  se.  The  best ;  first-class ; 
Al  (q.v.) :  see  Tip- top.  The  usage 
became  popular  and  was  extended  to 
other  vocables.  As  subs.,  a  paragon 
(1470).  Al.  (1)  Prime;  first-class, 
of  the  best.  The  character  A  denotes 
New  Ships,  of  Ships  Renewed  or  Re- 
stored. The  Stores  of  Vessels  are  de- 
noted by  the  figures  1  and  2  ;  1  signi- 
fying that  the  Vessel  is  well  and  suffi- 
ciently found  (Key,  Lloyd's  Register). 
Also  First-class,  letter  A  ;  Al  copper- 
bottomed  ;  and  Al  and  no  mistake : 
Fr.  marque  cl  VA  (money  coined  in 
Pariswas  formerly  stamped  with  an  A). 
Cf.  A  per  se  (1369).  (2)  Sometimes 
(erroneously)  No.  1.  Atitlefor  the  com- 
mander of  900  men  in  the  army  of  the 
Irish  Republican  Brotherhood  :  obso- 
lete Fenian.  Not  knowing  great  A  (ora 
B)  from  a  bull's-foot  (or  a  battledore), 
ignorant,  illiterate :  see  B.  What 
with  A,  and  what  with  B :  see  What. 
To  get  one's  A  (Harrow),  to  pass  a 
certain  standard  in  the  gymnasium: 
the  next  step  is  to  the  Gymnasium 
Eight.  To  get  A  (Felsted  School),  to 
be  (practically)  free  of  all  restriction  as 
to  bounds :  nominally  the  other  bounds 
were,  B,  the  ordinary  limit,  the  roads 
about  a  mile  from  the  school ;  C, 
punishment  bounds,  confinement  to  the 
cricket  field  and  playground  ;  and  D, 
confinement  to  the  old  school-house 
playground,  one  of  the  commonest 
forms  of  punishment  till  1876,  when 
the  present  school-house  was  opened  : 
C  and  D  were  also  known  respectively 
as  Mongrel  and  Quod. 

Aaron  (1)  A  cadger  (q.v.)  ;  a 
beggar  mountain-guide.  [Gesenius  : 
prob.  Heb.  Aaron  is  a  derivative  of 

Haron,  a  mountaineer.]  (2)  The 
leader  of  a  gang  of  thieves  ;  always 
with  '  the  '  as  a  prefix.  (3)  A  leader 
o  the  church  (1607). 

A.  B.  An  A  [ble]-b[odied]  seaman. 

Abba.  A  term  of  contempt :  gen- 
eric. As  subs.,  a  non-unionist :  as  adj., 
vile,  silly. 

Aback.  To  take  aback,  to  surprise, 
check  :  suddenly  and  forcibly.  [Orig. 
nautical :  in  which  sense  (0.  E.  D.) 
dating  from  1754.] 

Abacter  (or  Abactor).  Stealera 
of  Cattle  or  Beasts,  by  Herds,  or  great 
numbers ;  and  were  distinguished 
from  Fures  (Blount). 

Abaddon.  A  thief  turned  informer  ; 
a  snitcher  (q.v.).  [Obviously  a  Jew 
fence's  punning  reference  to  Abaddon, 
the  angel  of  the  bottomless  pit  ;  Rev. 
ix.  11.] 

Abandannad  (or   Abandannaad). 

( 1)  A  handkerchief  (or  bandanna)  thief. 
Hence  (2)  a  petty  thief.     [Brewer  :    A 
contraction  (sic)  of  a  bandanna  lad.] 

Abandoned    Habit.     In  pi.,  spec. 

the  riding  demi-monde  in  Rotten  Row. 

Abber  (Harrow).     (1)  An  abstract; 

(2)  an  absit  (q.v.). 

Abbess  (or  Lady  Abbess).  A  bawd; 
a  stewardess  of  the  stews  (q.v.) :  cf. 
Abbot;  Nun;  Sacristan;  etc.  (1770.) 

Abbey.  To  bring  an  abbey  to  a 
grange,  to  squander :  also  able  to 
buy  an  abbey  (Say  :  we  speak  it  of  an 
unthrift).  Among  kindred  expressions 
are  :  To  bring  a  noble  to  ninepence  ;  to 
make  of  a  lance  a  thorn  ;  to  make  of  a 
pair  of  breeches  a  purse ;  to  thwite  a 
mill  -  post  to  a  pudding  -  prick  ;  Hia 
wind-mill  is  dwindled  into  a  nut- 
cracker ;  from  abbess  to  lay-sister. 



Abbey-laird.  An  insolvent  debtor : 
•pec.  one  sheltered  in  the  sanctuary  of 
Holyrood  Abbey.  (1709.) 

Abbey  -  lubber  (or  loon).  An 
idler,  vagabond :  orig.  (prior  to  the 
Reformation)  a  lazy  monk  or  hanger-on 
to  a  religious  house.  Hence  abbey- 
lubber-like,  lazy,  thriftless,  ne'er-do- 
well  :  see  Lubber.  (1509.) 

Abbot.  A  bawd's  man :  ponce 
(q.v.) :  see  Abbess.  Whence  Abbot  on 
the  cross  (or  croziered  abbot),  the  bully 
(q.v.)  of  a  brothel.  Abbot  (or  Lord)  of 
Misrule,  the  leader  of  the  Christmas 
revels.  Also  (Scots)  Abbot  of  unreason, 
and  FT.  AbbtdeLiease  (Abbot  of  Joy). 

Abbotts'  Priory.  The  King's 
Bench  Prison :  Abbotfs  Park,  the  rules 
thereof  (Grose,  1823,  Bee).  [Sir  Charles 
.  Abbott,  afterwards  Lord  Tenterden, 
was  Lord  C.-J.  of  the  King's  Bench, 

ABC  (The).  1.  The  A  B  C 
(Alphabetical)  Railway  Guide.  2. 
(London).  An  establishment  of  the 
ASrated  Bread  Company:  orig.  bakers, 
now  refreshment  caterers.  Hence 
ABC  girl,  a  waitress  therein.  3. 
(Christ's),  Ale,  .Bread,  and  Cheese  on 
going  home  night.  4.  Generic  for 
beginnings :  thus,  like  (or  as  easy  as) 
ABC,  facile,  as  simple  as  learning 
the  alphabet ;  down  to  the  A  BC,  down 
to  first  principles,  or  the  simplest  rudi- 
ments. (1595.) 

Abear.  To  endure,  suffer.  [O.E.D.: 
A  word  of  honourable  antiquity ; 
widely  diffused  in  the  dialects ;  in 
London  reckoned  as  a  vulgarism. 
(885  with  a  gap  to  c.  1836)]. 

Aberdeen  Cutlet  A  dried  had- 
dock :  cf.  Billingsgate  pheasant. 

Abigail.  A  waiting-woman,  lady's 
maid.  [Abigail,  a  waiting  gentlewoman 
in  The  Scornful  Lady  (1616)  by  Beau- 
mont and  Fletcher :  also  see  1  Sam. 
xxv.  24-31.]  Hence  Abigailthip 
(Grose).  Cf.  Andrew,  Acre*,  etc. 

Abingdon-law.  Summary  punish- 
ment :  cf.  Stafford-law  ;  Lydford-law  ; 
Scarborough- warning,  etc.  [In  1645, 
lord  Essex  and  Waller  held  Abingdon, 
in  Berks,  against  Charles  I.  The  town 
was  unsuccessfully  attacked  by  Sir 
Stephen  Hawkins  in  1644,  and  by 
prince  Rupert  in  1645.  On  theae  occa- 
sions the  defenders  put  every  Irish 
prisoner  to  death  without  trial] 

Ablewhackets  (or  Abelwhackets). 
A  popular  sea  game  with  cards, 
wherein  the  loser  is  beaten  over  the 
palms  of  the  hands  with  a  handkerchief 
tightly  twisted  like  a  rope.  Very  popu- 
lar with  horny-fisted  sailors  (Smyth). 

Aboard.  A  gamester's  term  for 
getting  even  in  score. 

About    See  East,  Right,  Size. 

Above.  See  Bend,  Par,  Hooka, 
Huckleberry,  Persimmon. 

Abracadabra.  (1)  A  cabalistic 
word,  formerly  used  as  a  charm.  Hence 
(2),  any  word-charm,  verbal  jingle, 
gibberish,  nonsense,  or  extravagancy. 

Abraham.  1.  A  cheap  clothier's, 
slop  (q.v.),  or  hand-me-down  shop 
(q.v.).  Hence  Abraham  work,  ill-paid 
work,  sweated  labour  (see  Abraham- 
man).  2.  Auburn :  formerly  written 
abern  and  abron  :  also  Abram  and 
Abraham-coloured.  (1592.)  3.  See 
Abraham- man. 

Abraham  Grains.  A  publican 
brewing  his  own  beer. 

Abraham-man  (Abram,  Abram- 
man  or  Abram-cove).  A  sturdy 
beggar  (1567):  also  Bedlam  beggar 
(q.v.)  and  Tom  of  Bedlam.  These 
sturdy  beggars  roamed  the  country, 
begging  and  stealing,  down  to  the 
period  of  the  Civil  Wars.]  Hence 
To  sham  (or  do)  Abram  (or  to  Abraham 
sham),  to  feign  madness,  sham  sick 
(nautical).  Also  Abram,  naked,  mad, 
shamming  sick ;  Abraham-work,  shams 
of  all  kinds,  false  pretences :  whence  to 
go  on  the  Abraham  suit,  to  resort  to 
trick  or  artifice.  The  mad  Tom  of 
King  Lear  is  an  Abram-man :  see 
Edgar's  description,  iii.  4.] 

Abraham  Newl and.  A  bank  note. 
[Abraham  Newland  was  chief  cashier 
to  the  Bank  of  England,  from  1778  to 
1807.]  Hence  To  sham  Abraham,  to 
forge  bank  paper. 

Abraham's  Balm.  Hanging:  see 

Abraham's  -  bosom.  Dead  and 
gone  to  heaven :  cf.  Luke  xvi.  22. 

Abraham's  eye.  A  magic  charm, 
the  application  of  which  was  supposed 
to  deprive  a  thief,  who  refused  to  con- 
fess his  crime,  of  eyesight. 

Abraham's  Willing.  A  shilling: 
see  Rhino. 

Abroad.  1.  Wide  of  the  mark,  out 
of  one's  reckoning,  perplexed.  To 
come  abroad  (Winchester),  to  return  to 
school  work  after  sickness ;  to  be  on 




the  sick  list  is  to  be  continent  (q.v.). 
Also  to  be  furked  abroad,  to  be  sent  back 
to  school  after  going  continent:  an 
implication  of  shamming. 

Abroaded.  A  noble  defaulter  on 
the  continent  to  avoid  creditors  was 
said  to  be  abroaded  ;  also  police  slang 
for  convicts  sent  to  a  colonial  or  penal 
settlement,  but  likewise  applied  by 
thieves  to  imprisonment  merely. 

Abs  (Winchester).  (1)  Absent: 
placed  against  the  name  of  a  boy  when 
absent  from  school.  Also  (2)  to  take 
away.  Formerly,  circa  1840,  to  abs  a 
tolly  (candle),  meant  to  put  itout;  now, 
to  take  it  away,  whether  lighted  or 
unlighted  :  the  modern  notion  (q.v.) 
for  putting  it  out  being  to  dump  it. 
(3)  To  get  (or  put)  away  ;  generally  in 
the  imperative  :  e.g.  abs  !  Hence, 
to  abs  quickly,  to  stir  one's  stumps 
(q.v.),  or  to  put  things  away  with 
speed.  To  have  one's  wind  absed,  to 
get  a  breather  (q.v.). 

Abscotchalater.  One  in  hiding 
from  the  police  :  cf.  Absquatulate. 

Absence  (Eton).  Names  -  calling. 

Absent.  Absent  without  leave,  of 
one  who  has  broken  prison,  or  ab- 

Absentee.     A  convici. 

Absent-minded  Beggar.  Tommy 
Atkins  (q.v. ) :  popularised  by  Kipling's 
verses  in  aid  of  the  wives  and  children 
of  soldiers  serving  in  South  Africa  dur- 
ing the  Boer  War. 

Absit.  Every  undergraduate  wish- 
ing to  leave  Cambridge  for  a  whole  day, 
not  including  a  night,  must  obtain  an 
absit  from  his  tutor.  Permission  to  go 
away  for  a  longer  period  ...  is  called 
an  exeat. 

Abskize  (or  Abschize).  To  de- 
camp :  see  Bunk.  [Said  to  be  of 
Western  origin,  circa  1833.] 

Absquatulate  (or  Absquotilate). 
To  decamp,  skedaddle  (q.v.) :  see 
Bunk.  (1833.) 

Academy.  (1)  A  gang  of  thieves  ; 
(2)  a  rendezvous  for  thieves,  harlots,  or 
gamesters;  and  (3)  a  prison.  Hence 
Academician,  (1)  a  thief,  and  (2)  a 
harlot.  Also  buzzing  academy,  a  train- 
ing school  for  pickpockets  ;  canting- 
academy,  ( 1 )  a  common  lodging-house, 
dossing-ken  (q.v.),  or  house  of  call  for 
beggars,  and  (2)  a  likely  house  for 
working  (q.v.) ;  floating  academy,  the 
hulks;  character  academy,  a  resort  of 

servants  without  characters,  which  are 
there  concocted ;  and  gammoning- 
academy,  a  reformatory  (B.  E.,  Grose, 
Bee,  Matsell.) 

Accident.  ( 1 )  Seduction  ;  and  (2) 
a  bastard  :  see  By-blow. 

Accommodate.  1.  To  equip,  supply, 
provide.  [ Jonson,  Discoveries :  one  of 
the  perfumed  terms  of  the  time, 
Halliwell :  the  indefinite  use  is  well 
ridiculed  by  Bardolph's  vain  attempt  to 
define  it  (2  H.  IV.,  iii.  2.  77) :  cf.  to 
accommodate  with  a  loan,  or  with  cash 
for  a  cheque.]  (1597.)  2.  To  part  a  bet, 
or  to  let  a  person  go  halves  (that  is  to 
accommodate  him)  in  a  bet  that  is  likely 
to  come  off  successful.  It  is  also,  in  an 
ironical  manner,  to  believe  a  person 
when  you  are  well  assured  he  is  uttering 
a  lie,  by  observing  you  believe  what  he 
is  saying,  merely  to  accommodate  him 

Accompany.     To  cohabit.     (1500.) 

Account.  To  cast  up  accounts 
(one's  gorge,  or  reckoning).  1.  To 
vomit,  cat  (or  shoot  the  cat)  (q.v.): 
orig.  to  cast,  thence  by  punning  exten- 
sion (Ray,  Grose) :  also  to  audit  one's 
accounts  at  the  Court  of  Neptune 
(1484).  2.  To  turn  King's  evidence. 
To  go  on  the  account,  to  join  a  fili- 
bustering or  buccaneering  expedition, 
turn  pirate.  [Ogttvie:  probably  from 
the  parties  sharing,  as  in  a  commercial 
venture.]  (1812.)  To  account  for,  to 
kill,  literally  to  be  answerable  for 
bringing  down  one's  share  of  the  shoot- 
ing ;  make  away  with.  (1846.)  To 
give  a  good  account  of,  to  be  successful, 
do  one's  duty  by :  e.g.  The  stable  gave 
a  good  account  of  their  trainer. 

Accoutrement.  In  pi.,  fine 
rigging  (now)  for  Men  or  Women, 
(formerly)  only  Trappings  for  Horses. 
Well  accoutred,  gentilly  dress'd 
(B.  E.).  [A  recognised  usage  from  the 
middle  of  the  16th  century.] 

Accumulative.  A  sort  of  jour- 
nalistic sparring  match,  codicil  (q.v.). 

Accumulator.  A  backer,  success- 
ful with  one  horse,carrying  forward  the 
stakes  to  another  event. 

Ace.  The  smallest  standard  of 
value :  also  ambs-ace :  see  Rap,  Straw, 
etc.  Hence  To  bate  an  ace,  to  make  a 
slight  reduction :  also  bate  me  an  ace, 
quoth  Bolton,  a  derisive  retort ;  with- 
in an  ace  (or  amb's-ace),  nearly,  within 
a  shade  :  see  Ames  Ace.  (1528.) 

Ace  of  Spades. 


Ace  of  Spades.  1.  A  widow.  2. 
A  black-haired  woman. 

Ack  (Christ's).  No  !  refusal  of  a 
request,  e.g.  Lend  me  your  book. 

Ackman  (Ackpirate  or  Ackruff). 
A  fresh-water  thief  or  pirate.  [Cf. 
dialectic  Acker,  flood-tide,  a  bore,  and 

Acknowledge.  To  aclcntndedge  the 
torn,  to  confess,  make  an  admission : 
as  to  an  accusation,  failure,  etc. 

Acock-horse  (or  Acock).  (1) 
Triumphant;  also  (2)  defiantly. 

Acorn.  Horse  foaled  of  an  acorn, 
the  gallows  :  see  Ladder  and  Nubbing- 
cheat  (Grose).  (1694.) 

''Acquisitive.  Plunder,  booty, 

Acreocracy.  The  landed  interest : 
cf.  Snobocracy,  Squattocracy,  Mob- 
ocracy,  Cottonocracy,  Slavocracy,  etc. 

Acres.  A  coward  :  see  The  Rivals, 
v.  13.  (1775.) 

Acrobat.     A  glass  [i.e.  tumbler]. 

Across.  Across  lots,  (1)  by  the 
shortest  way  ;  (2)  completely.  (1848. ) 

Acteon.  A  cuckold,  also  as  verb  : 
whence  Acieon's  badge,  the  stigma 
of  cuckoldom  (B.  E.,  Grose,  Bee). 

Acting  Dicky.  1.  A  temporary 
appointment  which  may,  or  may  not, 
be  confirmed  by  the  Admiralty ;  an 
acting-order.  2.  A  man  acting  in  the 
name  of  an  enrolled  solicitor. 

Active  Citizen.  A  louse :  see 
Chates  (Grose  and  Bee). 

Act  of  Parliament  Small  beer, 
five  pints  of  which,  by  an  act  of  Parlia- 
ment, a  landlord  was  formerly  obliged 
to  give  gratis  to  each  soldier  billeted 
upon  him. 

Actual.  Money ;  generic  :  see 
Rhino:  also  the  actual.  (1856.) 

Ad  (or  Adver).  An  advertisement. 

Adam.  1.  A  bailiff  (Comedy  of 
Errors,  iv.  3).  2.  A  master  man,  fore- 
man :  see  Adam's  Ale  and  Adam  Tiler. 

Adamed.     Married. 

Adam's- ale  (-wine,  or  Adam). 
Water.  (1643.)  English  synonyms, 
aqua  pura ;  aqua  pompaginis ;  fish 
broth ;  pure  element. 

Adam's-apple.  The  thyroid  car- 
tilage :  also  Adam's- morsel.  (1586.) 

Adam's -arms.    A  spade;   cf.  old 

saw :  When  Adam  delved  and  Eve 
span,  Who  was  then  the  gentleman  ? 
Hence  Adam's  profession,  spade  work 
(i.e.  gardening).  (1602.) 

Adam  Tiler  (or  Adam).  An 
accomplice.  (1696.) 

Add.  To  add  to  the  list,  to  geld, 
add  to  the  list  of  geldings  in  train- 
Addition.  Colouring  matter,  or 
cosmetics  used  for  the  face.  ( 1 704. ) 

Addition,  Division,  and  Silence  1 
A  Philadelphia  catch  phrase  :  properly 
multiplication,  division,  and  silence  \  a 
reply  given  by  William  (Boss)  Tweed 
when  asked  the  proper  qualification  for 
a  ring  or  trust  (1872.) 

Addle.  To  addle  the  shoon,  to  roll 
on  the  back  from  side  to  side :  of 
horses.  [In  the  South  a  horse  is  then 
said  to  earn  a  gallon  of  oats.] 

Addle-egg.  Addle  egg  and  Idle 
head,  anything  worthless,  an  abortion. 

Addle- brain  (-cove, -head,  or 
-pate).  A  stupid  bungler,  dullard, 
one  full  of  Whimsies  and  Projects,  and 
as  empty  of  Wit  (B.  E.  and  Grose). 
Hence  addle-brained,  etc.  (1 580. ) 

Addle-plot  A  marplot,  spoil-sport, 
Martin-mar-all  (B.  E.  and  Grose). 

Adjective- Jerker.  A  writer  for 
the  press  ;  ink-slinger  (q.v.). 

Adjutant's  Gig.  The  barrack 
roller :  usually  drawn  by  men  under 

Admiral.  Admiral  of  the  Blue,  a 
tapster  :  from  the  colour  of  his  apron 
(Grose).  (1731.)  Admiral  of  the 
Narrow  Seas,  a  man  vomiting  into  the 
lap  of  his  neighbour  or  vis-b-vis  (Grose). 
Admiral  of  the  Red,  a  sot :  see  Lushing- 
ton.  Admiral  of  the  Red,  White,  and 
Blue,  a  beadle,  hall-porter,  or  similar 
functionary  when  sporting  the  livery 
of  office.  Admiral  of  the  White,  a 
white-faced  person,  coward,  woman  in 
a  faint  Yalow  Admiral,  a  rear- 
admiral  retired  without  service  afloat 
after  promotion.  [Admirals  of  the  red, 
the  white,  or  the  blue,  were  grades  in 
naval  rank  prior  to  1864,  according  to 
the  colour  of  the  ensign  displayed  :  all 
admirals  now  fly  the  white  ensign,  and 
they  rank  as  Admiral  of  the  Fleet, 
Admiral,  Vice-Admiral,  and  Rear- 
Admiral.]  To  tap  the  Admiral,  (1)  to 
suck  the  monkey  :  see  quots. ;  Germ. 
Den  Affen  saugcn.  Also  (2)  to  drink 
on  the  sly.  (1834.) 

Admiral's  Regiment. 


Admiral's  Regiment  (The).  The 
Royal  Marines  ;  also  nicknamed  The 
Little  Grenadiers,  The  Jollies,  and 
The  Globe  Rangers. 

Adonis.  1.  A  dandy,  exquisite. 
Hence,  to  ad-onize,  to  dandify,  dress 
to  kill :  of  men  only.  (1611.)  2.  A 
wig.  (1760.) 

Adrift.  Loose — I'll  turn  ye  adrift, 
a  Tar  phrase ;  I'll  prevent  ye  doing  me 
any  harm  (B.  E.);  also  (Orose)  adrift, 
discharged.  Hence,  astray,  puzzled, 
distracted.  (1690.) 

Adsum  (Charterhouse).  A  response 
in  answer  to  a  summons  or  names- 
calling.  (1821.) 

Adullamites.  1.  A  nickname  for 
seceding  Liberals  who  in  1866  voted 
Tory  because  dissatisfied  with  a  Liberal 
measure  for  the  extension  of  the  Fran- 
chise. [See  1  Sam.  xxii.  1.]  The 
political  party  in  question  were 
also  known  collectively  as  The 
Cave.  Hence  (2)  Adullamy,  ratting 

Advantage.  1.  A  thirteenth: 
added  to  a  dozen  of  anything ;  (2) 
something  in  addition :  also  vantage. 
See  Baker's  dozen  and  Lagniappe. 
(1641.)  To  play  upon  advantage,  to 
cheat.  (1592.) 

^Egrotat  (/Eger).  1.  An  excuse 
for  absence  on  account  of  sickness  ;  (2) 
a  medical  or  other  certificate  of  indis- 
position (Grose).  [Mgritude,  sickness; 
Mgroiat,  an  invalid.  (1532).]  Hence 
reading-cegrotant,  leave  taken  to  read 
for  a  degree  ;  oeger-room  (Felsted),  the 
sick  room.  Lat.  he  is  sick.] — Oradus 
ad  Cantab.,  1803. 

Affidavit-man.  A  false  witness, 
said  to  attend  Westminster  Hall,  and 
other  courts  of  justice,  ready  to  swear 
anything  for  hire  (Orose). 

Afflicke.     A  thief.     (1610.) 

Afflicted.  Drunk :  see  Screwed 

Afflictions.  Mourning  goods : 
e.g.  Afflictions  are  quiet,  there  is  little 
demand  for  mourning.  Mitigated 
afflictions,  half  mourning. 

Affygraphy.  To  an  affygraphy, 
to  a  nicety,  a  T.  In  an  affygraphy, 
in  a  moment,  directly. 

Afloat.  Drunk:  see  Screwed:  also 
with  back  teeth  well  afloat. 

Afraid.  Among  colloquial  and 
proverbial  sayings  are :  He  that's 
afraid  of  grass  must  not  piss  in  a 
meadow  (Ital.  Chi  ha  paura  d"ogni 

urtica  non  pisci  in  herba,  He  that's 
afraid  of  every  nettle  must  not  piss  in 
the  grass) ;  He  that's  afraid  of  leaves 
must  not  come  in  a  wood  (French,  Qui 
a  peur  des  feuittes  ne  doit  pas  oiler  au 
bois  :  Ital.,  Nbn  entri  tra  rocca  e  fuso 
chi  non  vuol  esser  filato) ;  He  that's 
afraid  of  the  wagging  of  feathers  must 
keep  from  among  wild  fowl ;  He 
that's  afraid  of  wounds  must  not  come 
near  a  battle ;  He's  never  likely  to 
have  a  good  thing  cheap  that's  afraid  to 
ask  the  price ;  Afraid  of  far  enough 
(fearful  of  what  is  not  likely  to  happen) 
Afraid  of  him  that  died  last  year 
(fearful  of  a  shadow) ;  Afraid  of  the 
hatchet  lest  the  helve  strike  him ; 
Afraid  of  his  shadow ;  More  afraid 
than  hurt. 

After.  A  long  way  after,  of  a 
sketch,  cartoon,  or  burlesque  of  aclassic 
picture,  book,  etc. 

After -clap.  (1)  Anything  unex- 
pected (spec,  disagreeable),  after  the 
conclusion  of  a  matter.  Hence  (2)  a 
demand  made  over  and  above  a 
stipulated  price,  or  for  an  amount 
already  paid  (Orose).  (14th  century.) 

After  -  dinner  Man  (or  After- 
noon's -  man).  A  man  who  drinks 
long  into  the  afternoon :  it  was  the 
custom,  formerly,  to  dine  in  the  halls 
of  our  Inns  of  Court  about  noon,  and 
those  who  returned  after  dinner  to  work 
must  have  been  much  devoted  to 
business,  or  obliged  to  work  at  unusual 
hours  by  an  excess  of  it.  (1614.) 

Afternoon-buyer.  One  who  buys 
not  until  after  the  market  dinner, 
thereby  hoping  to  buy  cheaper. 

Afternoon  -  farmer.  A  laggard  ; 
spec,  a  farmer  late  in  preparing  his 
land,  in  sowing  or  harvesting  his  crops; 
hence  one  who  loses  his  opportunities. 

Afternoon-tea  (Roy.  High  Sch., 
Edin.).  Detention  after  three  o'clock. 

After  Twelve.     See  Twelve. 

Against.  Against  the  grain 
(collar,  or  hair),  contrary  to  inclination, 
unpleasant,  unwillingly  done  (Grose). 
(1589.)  To  run  against,  to  meet  by 
accident :  e.g.  I  ran  against  him  the 
other  day  in  Brighton. 

Agaze.  Astonished,  open  -  eyed 
(Hatsell.)  (1400.) 

-agger  (Charterhouse).  As  in  Com- 
binaggers,  &  combination  suit :  esp. 
football  attire. 

Aggravator  ( Aggerawator,  or 
Haggerawator).  A  lock  of  hair 



brought  down  from  the  forehead,  well 
greased,  and  twisted  in  a  spiral  on  the 
temple,  either  toward  the  ear,  or  con- 
versely toward  the  outer  corner  of  the 
eye.  Usually  in  pi.,  once  an  aid  to 
beauty :  now  rare.  English  synonyms : 
bell-ropes ;  beau-catchers  ;  cobbler's- 
knots ;  cowlicks  ;  lore-locks  ;  Newgate 
knockers  ;  number  sixes  ;  spit-curls. 

Agitator.  1.  In  Eng.  Hist.,  an 
agent,  one  who  acts  for  others ;  a  name 
given  to  the  agents  or  delegates  of  the 
private  soldiers  in  the  Parliamentary 
Army,  1647-9  ;  in  which  use  it  varied 
with"  Adjutator  (O.  E.  D.).  J.  A.  H. 
Murray.  Careful  investigation  satisfies 
me  that  Agitator  was  the  actual  title, 
and  Adjutator  originally  only  a  bad 
spelling  of  soldiers  familiar  with 
Adjutants  and  the  Adjutors  of  1641.] 
2.  A  bell-rope,  or  knocker.  To  agitate 
the,  communicator,  to  ring  the  bell. 

Agogare.  Be  quick  !  a  warning 
signal  (New  York  Slang  Dictionary). 

Agony.  To  pile  up  (or  on)  the 
agony,  to  exaggerate,  use  the  tallest 
terms  in  lieu  of  the  simplest,  cry  Hell! 
when  all  you  mean  is  Goodness 
gracious ! :  as  a  newspaper  when 
writing  up  murder,  divorce,  and  other 
sensations.  Also  to  agonize.  Hence 
Agony-piler,  a  player  in  sensational 
parts:  see  Agony-column.  (1857.) 

Agony-column.  A  special  column 
in  newspapers  devoted  to  harrowing 
advertisements  of  missing  friends  and 
private  business :  orig.  the  second 
column  of  the  Times.  (1870.) 

Agree.  To  agree  like  pickpockets 
in  a  fair,  to  agree  not  at  all.  Other 
similes  of  the  kind  are,  To  agree  like 
bells,  they  want  nothing  but  hang- 
ing ;  and  To  agree  like  cats  and 
dogs  (or  like  harp  and  harrow). 

Agricultural-  implement  A 
spade  ;  call  a  spade  a  spade  and  not 
an  agricultural  implement,  a  direct 
call  to  very  plain  speech. 

Aground  (Grose).  Stuck  fast ; 
stopped;  at  a  loss;  ruined;  like  a  boat 
or  vessel  aground.  [This  accepted 
figurative  use  of  the  nautical  phrase  was 
rare  prior  to  the  nineteenth  century.] 

Algiers  (The).  The  1st  battalion 
of  The  Royal  Irish  Fusiliers,  late  The 
87th  Foot  [At  Barrosa  they  captured 
the  Eagle  of  the  8th  French  Light 
Infantry,  a  fact  now  commemorated  in 
one  of  the  distinctive  badges  of  the 

regiment,  viz.  An  Eagle  with  the 
figure  8  below.] 

Aim.  (B.  E.)  Endeavour  or 
Design  ...  he  has  missed  his  Aim 
or  end.* 

Ain't  (Hain't  or  An't).  That  is, 
are  not,  am  not,  is  not,  have  not, 
[0.  E.  D.,  in  the  popular  dialect  of 
London,  Cockney  speech  in  Dickens, 
etc.]  See  A'nt*  (1701.) 

Air.  Castles  in  the  air  (the  tines, 
in  Spain,  etc.),  generic  for  (1)  the 
impossible,  (2)  imagination,  and  (3) 
hope :  see  infra.  To  build  castle*, 

(1)  to     attempt     the     impossible; 

(2)  to  dream  of  visionary   project*, 
indulge  in  idle  dreams ;  and  (3)  to  be 
sanguine  of  success.     Hence  in  the  air, 
(1)    uncertain,     in    doubt,    and    (2) 
anticipated     (in     men's     minds)     a* 
likely ;  air-built,  chimerical ;  air-castle, 
the    land    of    dreams    and    fancies; 
air-monger,    a    dreamer :    see    Spain. 
Analogous  phrases  [avowedly  generic, 
and  inserted  in  this  place  because  as 
convenient  as  any  other :  the  senses, 
too,  must  obviously  sometimes  over- 
lap].    1.    (the   impossible),    to  square 
the  circle,  wash  a  blackamore  white, 
skin  a  flint,  make  a  silk  purse  out  of  a 
sow's  ear,  make  bricks  without  straw, 
weave  a  rope  of  sand,  ex  tract  sunbeams 
from  cucumbers,  set  the  Thames  on 
fire,  milk  a  he-goat  into  a  sieve,  catch 
a   weasel   asleep,    be   in    two   places 
at   once,   plough   the   air,   wash   the 
Ethiopian,  measure  a  twig,  demand  a 
tribute  of  the  dead,  teach  a  pig  to  play 
on  a  flute,  catch  the  wind  in  a  net, 
change  a  fly  into  an  elephant,  take  the 
spring  from  the  year,  put  a  rope  in 
the  eye  of  a  needle,  draw  water  with 
a    sieve,    number    the   waves ;     also 
(French)  prendre  la  lune  avec  Us  dents  ; 
rompre  Farguille  auge  nou.  2.  ( imagina- 
tion), to  have  maggots,  or  whimseys  ; 
to  see  an  air-drawn  dagger,  the  flying 
Dutchman,  the  great  sea-serpent,  the 
man  in  the  moon  ;  to  dream  of  Utopia, 
Atlantis,  the  happy  valley,  the  isles  of 
the  West,  the  millennium,  of  fairyland, 
the  land  of  Prester  John,  the  kingdom 
of  Micomicon ;    to  set  one's  wits  to 
work,  strain  (or  crack)  one's  invention, 
rack  (ransack,  or  cudgel)  one's  brains. 
3.  (hope),  to  seek  the  pot  of  gold  (Fr. 
pot  au  lait),  dream  of  Alnaachar,  live 
in   a   fool's   paradise ;  see   a   bit   of 
blue  sky,  the  silver  lining  in  the  cloud, 
the  bottom  of  Pandora's  box,  catch  at 




a  straw,  hope  against  hope,  reckon 
one's  chickens  before  they  are  hatched. 
Air  of  a  face  or  Picture  (B.  E.,  1696), 
the  Configuration  and  Consent  of  Parts 
in  each.  For  this  1 8th  century  quots. 
are  given  in  0.  E.  Z>.]  To  air  one's 
vocabulary,  to  talk  for  phrasing's  sake, 
flash  the  gab  (q.v.).  [One  of  the  wite 
of  the  time  of  George  IV.,  asked 
what  was  going  on  in  the  House  of 
Commons,  answered  that  Lord  Castle- 
reagh  was  airing  his  vocabulary.]  To 
air  one's  heels,  to  loiter,  hang  about : 
see  Cool  and  Heels. 

Air-and-exercise.  (1)  A  whipping 
at  the  cart's  tail ;  shoving  the  tumbler 
(q.v.).  Also  (2)  the  revolving  pillory  ; 
and  (3),  penal  servitude  (in  America, 
a  short  term  of  imprisonment)  (Grose). 

Airing.     See  Out. 

Air-line.     See  Bee-line. 

Airy  (B.  E.),  Light,  brisk,  pleasant. 
.  .  .  He  is  an  Airy  Fellow. 

Ajax  (or  Jakes).  A  privy ;  a  Jakes 
(q.v.):  Sir  John  Harrington,  in  1596, 
published  his  celebrated  tract,  called 
The  metamorphosis  of  Ajax,  by 
which  he  meant  the  improvement  of 
a  jakes,  or  necessary,  by  forming  it 
into  what  we  now  call  a  water-closet, 
of  which  Sir  John  was  clearly  the 
inventor.  Also  a  rm  of  abuse 

Akerman's  Hotel.  Newgate 
prison.  [The  governor's  name  was 
Akerman,  c.  1787.] 

Akeybo  (Hotten).  A  slang  phrase 
used  in  the  following  manner: — He 
beats  akeybo, and  akeybobeat  the  devil. 

A-la-Mort.     See  Amort. 

Albany  Beef.  The  flesh  of  the 
sturgeon.  [Some  parts  of  the  fish  have 
a  resemblance,  in  colour,  and  taste,  to 
beef  :  caught  in  large  numbers  as  far 
up  the  Hudson  River  as  Albany.] 

Albertopolis.  The  Kensington 
Gore  district :  out  of  compliment  to 
the  late  Prince  Consort,  who  was  closely 
identified  with  the  Albert  Hall  and  the 
Exhibition  buildings  of  1862. 

Albonized.     Whitened  [L,  albus], 

Alderman.  1.  A  half -crown,  2s. 
6d.  :  see  Rhino.  2.  A  long  clay  pipe  ; 
a  churchwarden  (q.v.).  3.  A  roasted 
turkey  garnished  with  sausages ;  the 
latter  are  supposed  to  represent  the 
gold  chain  worn  by  these  magistrates. 
4.  A  jemmy  (q.v.) :  sometimes  alder- 
man jemmy :  a  weightier  tool  is  the 
Lord  Mayor  (q.v.).  5.  (Felsted).  A 

qualified  swimmer.  [The  Alders,  a 
deep  pool  in  the  Chelmer :  see 
Farmer,  Public  School  Word  Book.'] 
Blood  and  guts  alderman  :  see  Blood 
and  guts. 

Alderman  Lushington.  Alder- 
man Lushington  is  concerned  (or  he  has 
been  voting  for  the  Alderman),  drunk. 

Alderman's  Pace.  A  leisurely 
walking,  slow  gate  (Cotgrave). 

Aldgate.  Draught  on  the  pump  at 
Aldgate,  a  worthless  bill  of  exchange 

Ale.  (1)  A  merry-making;  and 
occasion  for  drinking.  There  were 
bride-ales,  church-ales,  clerk-ales,  give- 
ales,  lamb-ales,  leet-ales,  Midsummer- 
ales,  Scot-ales,  Whitsun-ales,  and 
several  more.  (2)  An  ale-house.  Hence 
alecie  (or  alecy),  drunkenness ;  ale- 
blown  (ale-washed  or  alecied),  drunk  ; 
ale-draper  (whence  ale-drapery),  an 
inn-keeper  (Grose :  of.  ale-yard) ;  ale- 
spinner,  a  brewer  ;  ale-knight  (ale-stake, 
or  ale-toast),  a  tippler,  pot-companion ; 
ale-post,  a  maypole  (Grose);  ale-passion, 
a  headache ;  ale-pock,  an  ulcered  grog- 
blossom  (q.v.) ;  ale-crummed,  grogshot 
in  the  face ;  ale-swilling,  tippling,  etc. 
(1362).  (3)  In  pi.,  Messrs  S.  Allsopp 
and  Sons  Limited  Shares.  See  Adam's 

Alexander.  1.  To  hang.  [Rogers : 
From  the  harsh  and  merciless  manner 
in  which  Sir  Jerome  Alexander,  an  Irish 
judge  (1660-1674)  and  founder  of  the 
Alexander  Library  at  Trinity  College, 
Dublin,  carried  out  the  duties  of  his 
office.]  2.  To  extol  as  an  Alexander 
the  Great.  (1700.) 

Alexandra  Limp.  An  affected 
lameness ;  cf .  Grecian  bend  and  Roman 

Alfred  David.  An  affidavit :  also 
affidavy,  davy,  and  (occasionally)  after- 

Algerine.  (1)  A  manager-baiter, 
espec.  when  the  ghost  (q.v.)  will  not 
walk  (q.v.).  Also  (2)  a  petty  borrower. 

Alive.  Alive  occurs  as  an  intensive 
and  expletive  :  e.g.  alive  and  kicking, 
very  sprightly,  all  there  (q.v.) ;  also  all 
alive  ;  man  (heart,  or  sakes)  alive  !  (an 
emphatic  address) ;  to  look  alive,  to 
make  haste ;  all  alive,  slovenly  made 
(of  garments). 

All.  In  pi.,  belongings  :  spec,  tools : 
also  awls :  see  Bens.  Hence  to  pack 
up  one's  alls  ;  ( 1 )  to  begone,  to  desist ; 
(2)  see  All-nations.  The  five  aMn,  & 



country  sign,  representing  five  human 
figures,  each  having  a  motto  under  him 
— the  first  is  a  king  in  his  regalia  ;  his 
motto,  1  govern  all :  tho  second,  a 
bishop  in  pontificals  ;  motto,  I  pray  for 
all :  third,  a  lawyer  in  his  gown ;  motto, 
I  plead  for  all :  fourth,  a  soldier  in  his 
regimentals,  fully  accoutred ;  motto,  I 
fight  for  all :  fifth,  a  poor  countryman 
with  his  scythe  and  rake  ;  motto,  I  pay 
for  all  (Grose).  At  all !  The  cry  of 
a  gamester  full  of  cash  and  spirit,  mean- 
ing that  he  will  play  for  any  sums  the 
company  may  choose  to  risk  against 
him  (HaUiwell).  Alfa  quiet  on  the, 
Potomac,  a  period  of  rest,  enjoyment, 
peace.  [The  phrase  dates  from  the 
Civil.  War;  its  frequent  repetition  in  the 
bulletins  of  the  War  Secretary  made  it 
ridiculous  to  the  public.]  Phrases  and 
colloquialisms.  All  about  in  one's  head, 
light-headed ;  all  about  it,  the  whole  of 
the  matter ;  all-around,  thorough,  all 
round  (q.v.) ;  all  at  sea,  uncertain, 
vague ;  all  face,  naked ;  on  all  fours, 
fairly,  equally,  exactly ;  all  holiday  at 
Peckham,  hungry,  done  for ;  all  in 
(Stock  Exchange),  slow,  fiat  (q.v.) :  of 
a  market  when  there  is  a  disposition  to 
sell ;  whence,  all  out,  improving  ;  all 
over,  thoroughly,  entirely,  exactly  ;  all 
round  my  hat,  queer,  all-overish  (q.v.) : 
That's  all  round  my  hat,  Bosh  !  spicy 
as  all  round  my  hat,  sensational ;  all 
serene,  all's  well,  O.K.  You  know 
what  I'm  after  ;  all  up  with,  finished, 
done  for ;  all  T.H.,  of  the  best,  very 
good  indeed  (tailors'),  all  there  (q.v.). 
See  also  Alive  ;  All-nations  ;  Along ; 
Beat ;  Betty  Martin  ;  Blue  ;  Bandy  ; 
Caboose ;  Cheek ;  Dickey ;  Fly ; 
Gammon  ;  Gay  ;  Go ;  Heap ;  Hollow ; 
Hough  ;  Jaw  ;  Lombard-street ;  Mops- 
and- brooms  ;  Mouth  ;  Out ;  Pieces  ; 
Sheep ;  Shop ;  Shoot ;  Skittles ;  Smash  ; 
Smoke;  There;  Up;  Way;  Way- 

Allacompain.  Rain:  also  alacom- 
pain,  alicumpane,  elecampain :  cf. 
France  and  Spain. 

All-  (or  I'm-)  afloat.     A  coat. 

All- bones.  A  thin  bony  person. 

Alleviator.  A  drink,  refreshment : 
see  Go. 

Alley  (Ally  or  Alay).  A  superior 
kind  of  marble.  [Alabaster,  of  which 
they  are  sometimes  made.]  Also  Ally- 
tor  (or  taw) :  cf.  stoney  (q.v.)  blood- 
alley,  and  commoney  (q.v.).  (1720.) 

The  Alley,  Change  Alley :  cf.  House, 
Lane,  Street,  etc.  (1720.) 

All  -  fired.  A  general  intensive  : 
e.g.  oil-fired  (violent)  abuse  ;  an  all- 
fired  (tremendous)  noise  ;  an  all-fired 
(very  great)  hurry,  etc.  Also  as  adv. 
unusually,  excessively. 

All-get-out  That  beats  all-get-out, 
a  retort  to  any  extravagant  story  of 

All-harbour-light     All  right 

Allicholly.  Melancholy,  solemn- 
cholly  (q.v.).  (1595.) 

All  Nations.  1.  The  tap-droppings 
of  spirts  and  malt  liquors :  also  alls,  or 
all  sorts  (Grose).  2.  A  parti-coloured 
or  patched  garment ;  a  Joseph's  coat 

All-night- man.  A  body-snatcher ; 
a  resurrectionist  (q.v.). 

Allot  To  allot  upon,  to  count  upon, 
reckon  (q.v.),  calculate  (q.v.).  (1816.) 

All-out  A  bumper,  carouse.  Hence 
to  drink  all  out,  to  drain  a  bumper. 

All-overish.  An  indefinite  feeling 
of  apprehension  or  satisfaction.  Also 
to  feel  all  over  alike,  and  touch  nowhere, 
to  feel  confusedly  happy.  Also  as  subs. 

All-over-pattern.  A  term  used 
to  denote  a  design  in  which  the  whole 
of  a  field  is  covered  with  ornament  in 
contradistinction  to  such  as  have  units 
only  at  intervals,  leaving  spaces  of  the 
ground  between  them. 

Allow  (Harrow).  A  boy's  weekly 
allo  wance.  Also,  to  admit,  declare,  in- 
tend, think.  (1580.) 

All-round  (Amer.  All-around). 
Generally  capable,  adaptable,  or  in- 
clusive ;  affecting  all  alike  :  e.g.  an  all- 
round  (average)  rent ;  an  all-round 
( thorough )  scamp;  an  all-round  cricketer, 
one  good  alike  at  batting,  bowling,  and 
fielding.  Hence  all-rounder. 

All-rounder.  1.  A  shirt  collar; 
spec,  one  the  same  height  all  round  the 
neck,  meeting  in  front,  or  (as  in  clerical 
collars)  at  the  back.  (1857.)  2.  See 

Allslops.  Allsopp  and  Sons'  ale. 
[At  one  time  their  brew,  formerly 
of  the  finest  quality,  had  greatly  de- 

All-sorts.     See  All-nations. 

Allspice.     A  grocer. 

All-standing.  Fully  dressed: 
hence  to  turn  in  all  standing,  to  go  to 
bed  in  one's  clothes.  Also  brought  up 
all-standing,  taken  unawares. 


Alma  Mater. 


Alma  Mater.  Originally  (and  pro- 
perly) one' s University;  now  applied  to 
any  place  of  training  ;  school,  college, 
or  University.  (1701.) 

Alman-comb.  The  four  fingers  and 
the  thumb :  see  Welsh-comb. 

Almighty.  An  intensive  :  mighty, 
great,  exceedingly.  (1824.) 

Almighty-  gold  (-money,  or 
[American]  -dollar).  The  power  or 
worship  of  money ;  Mammon.  (1616.) 

Almond -for- a- parrot.  A  trifle 
to  amuse  a  silly  person.  (1529.) 

Aloft.  To  go  aloft,  to  die:  see  Hop 
the  twig.  (1692.)  To  come  aloft,  to 
vault,  play  tricks:  as  a  tumbler.  ( 1624. ) 

Along  of.  On  account  of,  owing 
to,  pertaining  to,  about :  also  (for- 
merly) along  on.  [The  0.  E.  D.  traces 
the  phrase  back  to  Anglo-Saxon  times.] 

Along-shore  (or  Longshore)  Boy 
(or  Man).  A  landsman  (Orose). 

Aloud.  An  intensive  :  e.g.  to  talk 
aloud,  to  rave  ;  to  think  aloud,  to  talk ; 
to  walk  aloud,  to  run  ;  to  stink  aloud, 
to  overpower. 

Alphabet.  Through  the  alphabet, 
completely,  first  to  last. 

Alsatia.  1.  Whitefriars :  a  dis- 
trictadjoining  the  Temple, between  the 
Thames  and  Fleet  Street.  [Formerly 
thesiteof  a  Carmelite  convent  (founded 
1241)  and  possessing  certain  privileges 
of  sanctuary.  These  were  confirmed  by 
a  charter  of  James  I.  in  1608,  where- 
after the  district  speedily  became  a 
haunt  of  rascality  in  general,  a  Latin- 
ised form  of  Alsace  having  been  jocu- 
larly conferred  on  it  as  a  debateable 
land.  Abuses,  outrage,  and  riot  led  to 
the  abolition  of  its  right  of  sanctuary 
in  1697.  Also  Alsatia  the  higher. 
Whence  Alsatia  the  lower,  the  liberties 
of  the  Mint  in  Southwark ;  Alsatian,  a 
rogue,  debtor,  or  debauchee ;  a  resident 
in  Alsatia  :  also,  roguish,  debauched ; 
Alsatia  phrase,  a  canting  term  (B.  E. 
and  Grose).  [See  Fortunes  of  Nigel, 
chaps,  xvi.  and  xvii.].  (1688).  2. 
Hence  any  rendezvous  or  asylum  for 
loose  characters  or  criminals,  where  im- 
munity from  arrest  is  tolerably  certain; 
a  disreputable  locality  :  the  term  has 
sometimes  been  applied  (venomously) 
to  the  Stock  Exchange.  Alsatian,  an 
adventurer;  a  Bohemian.  (1834.) 

Alt.  In  alt,  in  the  clouds  ;  high- 
flying ;  dignified.  \Altissimo,  a  musical 
termT]  Cf.  Altitude.  (1748.) 

Altemal  (or  Altumal).    Altogether. 

(1696.)  Also  as  intj.,  cut  it  short, 
stow  it  (q.v.),  stash  it  (q.v.). 
\p.  E.  D. :  Lat.  altum,  the  deep,  i.e. 
the  sea  and  AL.  Dutch  altermal.] 

Alter.  To  alter  the  Jeff's  click,  to 
make  up  a  garment  without  regard 
to  the  cutter's  chalkings  or  instruc- 

Altham.    A  wife :    Old  Cant. 

Altitude.  In  one's  altitudes,  gen- 
eric for  high-mindedness.  (1 )  In  lofty 
mood  ;  (2)  in  high  spirits ;  (3)  hoity- 
toity  ;  and  (4)  drunk  (B.  E.  and  Grose) ; 
see  Screwed.  (1616.) 

Altocad.  A  paid  member  of  the 
choir  who  takes  alto  (Winchester  Col- 

Altogether.  A  whole ;  a  tout-en- 
semble. (1677.)  The  altogether,  nudity ; 
in  the  altogether  nude :  popularised 
byDu  Maurier' s  novel  and  play,  Trilby. 

Alybbeg.     See  Lybbege. 

Alycompaine.     See  Allacompam. 

Amazon.  1.  A  masculine  woman ; 
a  vigaro.  Also  (the  adjectival  pro- 
ceded  the  figurative  substantive  usage) 
Amazonian,  manlike,  bold,  quarrel- 
some. (1595.)  2.  The  Queen:  chess. 

Ambassador.  A  trick  to  duck 
some  ignorant  fellow,  or  landsman,  fre- 
quently played  on  board  ship  in  the 
warm  latitudes.  It  is  thus  managed  :  a 
large  tub  is  filled  with  water,  and  two 
stools  placed  on  each  side  of  it.  Over 
the  whole  is  thrown  a  tarpaulin,  or  old 
sail,  which  is  kept  tight  by  two  persons 
seated  on  the  stools,  who  are  to  repre- 
sent the  king  and  queen  of  a  foreign 
country.  The  person  intended  to  be 
ducked  plays  the  ambassador,  and  after 
repeating  a  ridiculous  speech  dictated 
to  him,  is  led  in  great  form  up  to  the 
throne,  and  seated  between  the  king 
and  queen,  who  rise  suddenly  as  soon 
as  he  is  seated,  and  the  unfortunate 
ambassador  is  of  course  deluged  in  the 
tub  (Grose). 

Ambassador  of  Commerce.  A 
commercial  traveller  ;  bagman  (q.v.). 

Ambes-ace.     See  Ames-ace. 

Ambia.  Chewed-tobacco  juice:  also 
the  intensely  strong  nicotine,  or  thick 
brown  substance  which  forms  in  pipes. 
I  have  always  supposed  that  it  is 
merely  a  Southern  variation  of  amber 
which  exactly  represents  its  colour. 

Ambidexter  (or  Ambodexter).  (1) 
A  venal  juror  or  lawyer,  one  taking  a 



AngeT8  OH. 

fee  from  both  sides.  Hence  (2)  a 
(1  on  Me  -  dealer,  vicar  of  Bray  (q.v.). 
Aluo,  deceitful,  tricky.  (1532.) 

Ambree.  Mary  Ambree,  generic 
for  a  woman  of  strength  and  spirit 


Ambrol.  Ambrol,  among  the  Tan 
for  Admiral  (B.  E.). 

Ambush.  Fraudulent  weights  and 
measured.  [A  punning  allusion  :  to  lie 
in  wait — Le.  lying  weight.] 

Amen.  To  finish  a  matter  (as  amen 
does  a  prayer),  approve,  ratify.  To  say 
Yet  and  Amen,  to  agree  to  everything 
(Grose) ;  amener,  a  general  conformist. 

Arhen-bawler  (-curler  or  -snorter). 
A  parish  clerk ;  also  (military)  amen- 
wallah:  see  Black-coat  (<?ra*e).  (1704.) 

Amerace.  Near  at  hand,  within 

American  Shoulders.  A  particu- 
lar cut  in  the  shoulders  of  a  coat : 
they  are  padded  and  shaped  to  give  the 
wearer  a  broad  and  burly  appearance. 

American  Tweezers.  An  instru- 
ment to  unlock  a  door  from  the  outside, 
nippers  (q.v.). 

Ames-ace  (Ambs-ace,  Ambes-ace, 
etc. ).  ( 1 )  Orig.  and  lit.  the  throw  of  two 
aoee,  the  lowest  cast  at  dice.  Hence 
(2)  misfortune,  bad  luck,  nothing. 
Within  ames-ace,  nearly,  very  near 
(Grose):  see  Ace.  (1297.) 

Aminadab.  A  quaker :  in  contempt 
(Grose).  (1700.) 

Ammuni  tion.  1 .  Originally  applied 
to  every  requisite  for  soldiers'  use,  as 
ammunition  bread,  shoes,  hat,  etc.  : 
now  only  of  powder,  shot,  shell,  and 
the  like.  Whence  colloquialisms  such 
as  ammunition  face,  a  warlike  face ; 
ammunition  wife,  a  soldier's  trull 
(Grose) ;  ammunition  leg,  a  wooden  leg, 
etc.  (1658.)  2.  Bum-fodder  (q.v.). 
Mouth-ammunition,  food :  cf.  Belly- 
timber.  (1694.) 

Amoret  (or  Amorette).  (1)  Ori- 
ginally a  sweetheart :  spec.  (2)  a  mis- 
tress. [O.  E.  D.  :  Eng.  Amoret  having 
become  obsolete,  the  word  has  recently 
been  re-adopted  from  the  French  ;  see 
sense  4.]  Whence  (3)  the  concomitants 
of  love :  e.  g.  a  love-knot,  a  love-  sonnet, 
love- books,  and  (in  pi.)  love-tricks, 
dalliances  (Cotyrave).  (1400.)  (4) 
Amourette,  a  love-affair,  an  intrigue. 

Ampersand.  1.  The  posteriors. 
2.  The  sign  & ;  ampersand.  Vari- 

ants :  And  -  pussy  -  and  ;  Ann  Passy 
Ann  ;  anpasty  ;  andpaasy  ;  anparse  ; 
apersie  (a.v.) ;  per-se  ;  ampassy  ;  am- 
passy-ana  ;  ampene-and ;  ampus-and ; 
am  pussy  and  ;  ampazad  ;  amsiam  ; 
ampus  -  end  ;  apperse  -  and  ;  empersi- 
and  amperzed ;  and  zumzy-zan. 

Amputate.  To  be  off,  to  cut 
(q.v.)  and  run,  also  to  amputate  one's 
mahogany  (or  timber) :  see  Bunk  and 

Amuse.  To  cheat,  beguile,  deceive. 
O.  E.  D.  .  .  .  Not  in  regular  use, 
before  1600.  .  .  .  the  usual  sense  in 
17th  and  18th  centuries] :  spec.  (B.  E. 
and  Grose),  to  throw  dust  in  one's 
eyes  by  diverting  one,  to  fling  dust  or 
snuff  in  the  eyes  of  the  person  intended 
to  be  robbed  ;  also  to  invent  some 
plausible  tale  to  delude  shop-keepers 
and  others,  thereby  to  put  them  off 
their  guard.  Whence  amuser,  a  cheat 
a  snuff  -  throwing  thief ;  one  that 
deceives  (Ash  and  Grose).  (1480.) 

Anabaptist.  A  thief  caught  in  the 
act  and  disciplined  at  the  pump  or  in 
the  horse-pond  (Grose). 

Anchor.  To  sit  down.  To  let  go 
an  anchor  to  the  windward  of  the  law, 
to  keep  within  the  letter  of  the  law. 

Ancient.     See  Antient. 

Ancient  Mariner.  A  rowing  don : 
row  as  in  bough  (Oxf.  Univ.). 

Andrew.  1.  A  broadsword  ;  also 
Andrew  Ferrara:  cf.  Gladstone.  [Cosmo, 
Andrea,  and  Gianantonio  Ferara,  three 
Italian  cutlers  of  Belluno  in  Venetia.] 
(1618.)  2.  A  body-servant,  valet :  cf. 
Abigail  (1618.)  3.  A  ship,  whether 
trading  or  man-of-war  :  also  Andrew 
Millar,  and  (Grose)  Andrew  Miller's 
lugger.  Among  Australian  smugglers,  a 
revenue  cutter.  (1591.)  See  Merry- 

Angel.  A  child  riding  on  the 
shoulders  :  also  Flying-angeL  Angd 
on  horseback,  oysters  rolled  in  bacon, 
and  served  on  crisp  toast,  very  hot. 

Angel  Altogether.     A  toper. 

Angelic  (or  Angelica).  A  young 
unmarried  woman.  (1821.) 

Angeliferous.  Angelic,  super- 
excellent.  (1837.) 

Angel's-food.    Strong  ale.     (1597.) 

Angel's  Footstool.  An  imaginary 
square  sail,  topping  the  sky-scraper 
(q.v.),  the  moon-sail  (q.v.),  and  the 
cloud-cleaner  (q.v.). 

Angel's  Gear.     Female  attire. 

Angel's  Oil.    A  bribe  :    also  oil  of 


Angel's  Suit. 


angels.  [Angel,  a  gold  coin,  value 
6s.  8d.,  first  struck  by  Ed.  IV.  in 

Angel's  Suit.  A  combination 
garment  for  men :  the  trousers  were 
buttoned  to  coat  and  waistcoat  made 
in  one. 

Angel's  Whisper.  The  call  to 
defaulter's  drill :  usually  extra  fatigue 

Angle.  To  get  by  stratagem,  fish 
(q.v.) ;  and  (in  an  absolute  sense,  see 
Angler)  to  cheat,  steal.  As  subs.,  (1)  a 
lure  or  wile ;  (2)  a  victim  :  hence  a 
simpleton,  one  easily  imposed  on  ;  and 
(3)  a  cunning  or  specious  fellow,  an 
adventurer.  To  angle  one  on,  to  lure. 
(1535.)  To  angle  for  farthings,  to  beg 
out  of  a  prison-window,  with  a  cap, 
or  box,  let  down  at  the  end  of  a  long 
string.  To  angle  with  a  silver  hook,  ( 1 ) 
to  bribe,  and  (2)  buy  one's  catch  in  the 

Angler.  '  Angglers  be  peryllous  and 
most  wicked  Knaues  . .  .  they  custom- 
ably  carry  with  them  a  staffe  of  v.  or  vi. 
foote  long,  in  which  within  one  ynch  of 
the  tope  thereof,  ys  a  lytle  hole  ...  in 
which  they  putte  an  yron  hoke,  and 
with  the  same  they  wyll  plucke  vnto 
them  quickly  anything  that  they  may 
reche  ther  with '  (Harmon).  To  angle, 
to  steal;  Angling-cove,  a  fence  (q.v.) 
(B.  E.  and  Grose). 

Anglomaniacs.  A  club  in  Boston ; 
its  members  are  opposed  to  everything 

Angry  Boy.  See  Boy  and  Roaring- 

Angular  Party.  A  gathering  of  an 
odd  number  of  people ;  three,  seven, 
thirteen,  etc. 

Animal.  1.  A  term  of  contempt ; 
a  fool — he  is  a  mere  Animal,  he  is  a 
very  silly  Fellow  (B.  E.,  c.  1696).  2. 
A  new  cadet  at  the  United  States 
Military  Academy,  West  Point ;  cf. 
Snooker.  See  Whole. 

Animule.  A  mule.  A  portmant- 
eau-word (q.v.):  i.e.  animal-mule.] 

Ankle.  To  sprain  one's  ankle,  to  be 
got  with  child  (Grose) :  Fr.,  avoir  mal 
aux  genoux. 

Ankle-beater.  A  boy-drover : 
they  tended  their  animals  with  long 
wattles,  and  beat  them  on  the  legs  to 
avoid  spoiling  or  bruising  the  flesh  : 
also  penny-boys  (q.v.),  because  they 
received  one  penny  per  head  as  re- 

Ankle -spring  Warehouse.  The 
stocks.  (1780.) 

Ananias.  A  liar.  Hence  Ananias- 
brand,  an  imposture ;  Ananias-club,  an 
imaginary  company  of  liars  ;  to  play 
Ananias  and  Sapphira,  to  keep  back 
part  of  the  swag  (q.v.). 

Anna  Maria.     A  fire. 

Anne.  See  Bacon,Sight,  and  Thumb. 

Annex.     To  steal,   convey  (q.v.). 

Anno  Domini  Ship.  An  old- 
fashioned  whaler  (Century). 

Annual.  A  holiday  taken  once  in 
twelve  months :  cf.  annual,  a  mass 
said,  rent  paid,  or  a  book  issued  yearly. 

Anodyne.  Death :  also  to  kill. 
Anodyne  necklace  (or  collar),  a  halter 
(Grose) :  see  Horse  -  collar,  Ladder, 
and  Nubbing-cheat.  (1636.) 

Anoint.  1.  To  flatter,  butter  (q.v.). 
(1400.)  2.  To  bribe,  grease  the  palm 
(q.v.);  creesh  the  loof.  (1584.)  3. 
To  beat,  thrash  soundly  ;  also,  anoint 
with  the  sap  of  a  hazel  rod  (North) : 
cf.  strap-oil.  Whence  anointed,  well 
drubbed  (see  next  entry).  (1500.) 

Anointed.  Pre-eminent  in  rascality. 
But  in  a  French  MS.  ...  is  an 
account  of  a  man  who  had  received  a 
thorough  and  severe  beating:  Quianoit 
este  si  bien  oignt.  The  English  Version 
[Early  English  Text  Society]  translates 
this :  '  Which  so  well  was  anoynted 
indeed.  From  this  it  is  clear  that  to 
anoint  a  man  was  to  give  him  a  sound 
drubbing,  and  that  the  word  was  so  used 
in  the  fifteenth  century.  Thus,  an 
anointed  rogue  means  either  one  who 
has  been  well  thrashed  or  who  has 
deserved  to  be '  (Skeat ). 

Anonyma.  A  fashionable  whore 
(c.  1  SCO- 60). 

Another.  You're  another,  a  tu 
quoque  :  i.e.  another  liar,  fool,  thief — 
any  imaginable  term  of  abuse :  see 
Nail.  (1534.) 

Anotherguess  (Anothergets, 
Anothergaines,  Anothergates, 
Anotherguise,  Anotherkins). 
That  is,  another  sort,  kind,  manner, 
fashion,  etc.  [0.  E.  D.  :  A  phonetic  re- 
duction from  anothergete  ((or  another- 
gates).]  Hence  anotherguess  sort  of 
man  (woman,  etc.),  one  up  to  snuff 
(q.v.).  1580.) 

Another  Place.  The  House  of 
Commons  (Lord  Granville). 

Anser.  Anser  is  Latin  for  Goose 
(Brandy,  Candle,  Fish,  etc.).  A  pun- 
ning catch  or  retort.  (1612.) 




Anshum-scranchum.  A  scramble: 
e.g.  when  provision  is  scanty,  and  each 
one  is  almost  obliged  to  scramble  for 
what  he  can  get,  it  is  said  to  bearuhum- 
tcranchum  work  (HalliweU). 

An't  (Aint).  A  contraction  for  are 
not ;  am  not ;  is  not ;  has  not ;  have 
not  (han't) :  chiefly  Cockney ;  cf. 
shan't,  won't,  can't :  see  Ain't  Also, 
and  may  it  (1612.) 

Ant.  In  an  anfs  foot,  in  a  short  time. 

Antagonize.  To  oppose  a  ball, 
bill,  measure,  etc.  [Properly,  only  of 
contention  or  opposition  between 
forces  or  things  of  the  same  kind.] 

Antarctic.  To  go  to  the  opposite 
extreme:  cf.  lord,  tree,  etc.  (1647.) 

Amechamber.  (B.  E.,  e.  1696.) 
Forerooms  for  receiving  of  Visite,  as 
the  back  and  Drawing-rooms  arc  for 
Lodgings,  anciently  called  Dining- 
rooms.  [Not  in  use  in  this  sense  until 
18th  century,  the  earliest  reference  in 
O.  E.  D.  being  1767 :  the  orig.  meaning, 
the  room  admitting  to  the  royal  bed- 

An  tern.     See  Autem. 

Anthony.  ( 1 )  To  knock  Anthony,  to 
walk  knock-kneed,  cuff  Jonas  (q.v.). 
Hence  Anthony  Cuffin,  a  knock-kneed 
man.  Also  (2)  to  keep  warm  by  beat- 
ing one's  sides  :  see  Beating  the  Booby 
(Grose).  Anthony  (or  Tantony  pig), 
see  Saint  and  Tantony.  St.  Anthony's 
fire,  Erysipelas :  from  the  tradition 
that  those  who  sought  the  intercession 
of  St  Anthony  recovered  from  the 
pestilential  erysipelas  called  the  sacred 
fire  which  proved  extremely  fatal  in 
1089  (Brewer). 

Antidote.  A  very  homely 
Woman  (B.  E.). 

Antient.  At  sea,  for  Ensign  or 
Flag  (B.  E.)  [0.  E.  D.:  a  corrup- 
tion of  Ensign,  confounded  with 
ancien.]  Cf.  Ancient  Pistol,  Othello's 
Ancient  (i.e.  standard  bearers). 

Antimony.  Type.  [Antimony  is  a 
constituent  part] 

Antrums.     See  Tantrum. 

Anvil.  On  the  anvil,  in  prepara- 
tion, in  hand,  on  the  stocks  (the 
usual  modern  equivalent)  [an  iron] 
in  the  fire.  Hence  to  anvil,  fashion, 
prepare.  (1607). 

Anvil-beater  (-thresher, 
-whacker,  etc.).  A  smith.  (1677.) 

Any.  Any  other  man,  a  call  to 
order :  addressed  to  a  prosy  or  a  dis- 
cursive speaker,  or  when  from  lack  of 

continuity  in  thought  the  same  idea  is 
repeated  in  synonymous  terms.  I'm 
not  taking  any,  a  more  or  less  sarcastic 
refusal,  Not  for  Joe. 

Anybody.  An  ordinary  individual : 
in  depreciation ;  cf.  Nobody,  Some- 
body, etc.  (1826.) 

Anyhow.  All  anyhow,  carelessly  ; 
at  random.  Anyhow  you  can  fix  it,  a 
form  of  acquiescence :  e.g.  I  don't 
know  if  you'll  succeed,  but  anyhow 
you  can  fix  it 

Any-racket.     A  penny-faggot 

Anything.  Like  (or  as)  anything, 
an  indefinite  but  comprehensive 
standard  of  measurement  or  value, 
like  one  o'clock  (old  boots,  winking, 
hell,  etc.).  (1542.) 

Anythingarian.  An  indifferentist, 
Jack-of-both-sides.  Hence  anything- 
arianism,  the  creed  of  All  things  to  all 
men.  (1704.) 

Anywhere.  Anywhere  down  there ! 
A  workroom  catch  -  phrase  on  any- 
thing falling  to  the  floor. 

Apart  Apart,  severally,  asunder 
(B.  E.,  e.  1696).  [Except  for  an  an- 
ticipation by  Langland  not  in  use  till 
long  after  B.  E.'s  time.] 

Apartments.  1.  Apartments  to 
let,  empty-headed,  foolish,  crazy  :  see 
Balmy.  2.  Said  of  a  widow,  also  of  a 
woman  given  to  prostitution  (Ray  and 
Or  ose.) 

Ape.  1.  An  antic,  gull.  Hence 
God's  ape,  a  natural  fool ;  to  play  the 
ape,  (1)  to  mimic  ;  and  (2)  to  play  the 
fool ;  to  put  an  ape  into  one's  hood  (cap, 
or  hand),  to  befool,  dupe  :  also  to  make 
one  his  ape.  As  adj.  (or  apish),  foolish : 
hence  ape-drunk,  maudlin  ;  ape-u-are, 
counterfeit  ware.  (1230.)  2.  An 
endearment  (Malone) :  cf.  monkey. 
( 1595. )  3.  In  pL,  Atlantic  and  North- 
western First  Mortgage  Bonds.  To 
lead  apes  in  hell,  to  die  unmarried  :  of 
both  sexes.  Hence  ape-leader,  an  old 
maid,  or  bachelor  (Grose).  (1579.)  To 
say  an  ape's  paternoster,  to  chatter  with 
cold.  Fr.,  dire  des  pate-nitres  de  singe. 
(1611.)  Phrases.  The  ape  claspeth  her 
young  so  long  that  at  last  she  killeth 
them  ;  An  ape  is  an  ape,  a  varlet's  a 
varlet,  Though  they  be  clad  in  silk  or 
scarlet ;  The  higher  the  ape  goes,  the 
more  he  shows  his  tail. 

A-per-se.    See  A. 

Aphrodisian-dame.     A  courtesan. 

A-pigga-back  (or  A-pisty-poll). 
See  Angel  and  Pick-a-back. 




Apostles  (Twelve  Apostles). 
Formerly  when  the  Poll,  or  ordinary 
B.A.  degree  list,  was  arranged  in  order 
of  merit,  the  last  twelve  were  nick- 
named The  Twelve  Apostles  ;  also  The 
Chosen  Twelve,  and  the  last,  St.  Poll  or 
St.  Paul — a  punning  allusion  to  1  Cor. 
xv.  9,  For  I  am  the  least  of  the 
Apostles,  that  am  not  meet  to  be  called 
an  Apostle.  The  list  is  now  arranged 
alphabetically  and  in  classes.  At 
Columbia  College,  D.C.,  the  last 
twelve  on  the  B.A.  list  actually  receive 
the  personal  names  of  the  Apostles. 
(1785.)  To  manoeuvre  the  apostles,  to 
borrow  of  one  to  pay  another,  to  rob 
Peter  to  pay  Paul  (Grose). 

Apostle's  Grove.  St.  John's 
Wood ;  also  the  Grove  of  the  Evan- 

Apothecary.  Formerly  a  term  of 
contempt :  prior  to  1617  the  business 
of  grocer  and  chemist  was  combined, 
and  it  was  not  till  1815  that  the  status 
of  an  apothecary,  as  a  medical  practi- 
tioner, was  legally  held  by  licence  and 
examination  of  the  Apothecaries  Com- 
pany. Hence  To  talk  like  an  apothe- 
cary, to  talk  nonsense,  use  (Grose) 
hard  or  gallipot  words :  from  the  as- 
sumed gravity  and  affectation  of  know- 
ledge generally  put  on  by  the  gentlemen 
of  this  profession,  who  are  commonly 
as  superficial  in  their  learning  as  they 
are  pedantic  hi  their  language.  Also 
Apothecaries' -Latin,  gibberish,  dog- 
(katchen-,  or  raw-)  Latin  (q.v.); 
Apothecaries'  bitt,  a  long  undetailed 
account :  cf.  Bawdy-house  reckoning. 
Likewise  proverbial  sayings :  A  broken 
apothecary,  a  new  doctor ;  Apothe- 
caries would  not  give  pills  in  sugar 
unless  they  were  bitter. 

Appii  (The)  (Durham  University). 
The  Three  Tuns  :  a  celebrated  Durham 
Inn.  [A  mis-reading  of  Actsxxviii.  15.] 

Apple.  In  pi.,  a  woman's  paps : 
also  Apple-dumpling-shop  (Grose),  the 
bosom.  (1638.)  Phrases  and  proverbial 
expressions  :  One  rotten  apple  decays 
a  bushel ;  To  take  an  eye  for  an 
apple ;  As  like  as  an  apple  is  like 
an  oyster ;  There's  small  choice  in 
rotten  apples ;  Won  with  an  apple, 
lost  with  a  nut ;  How  we  apples 
swim  (What  a  good  time  we're 
having ;  a  reference  to  the  fable  of 
a  posse  of  horse-droppings  floating 
down  the  river  with  a  company  of 
apples).  (1340.)  See  Adam's  Apple. 

Apple-cart.  The  human  body  :  cf. 
Beer-barrel.  To  upset  one's  apple-cart, 
to  floor  a  man,  to  thwart  (Grose).  Also, 
to  upset  the  old  woman's  apple-cart ; 
to  upset  the  apple-cart  and  spill  the 
gooseberries  (or  peaches). 

Apple-pie  Bed.  A  bed  made 
apple-pie  fashion,  like  what  is  called 
a  turnover  apple-pie,  where  the  sheets 
are  so  doubled  as  to  prevent  any  one 
from  getting  at  his  length  between 
them :  a  common  trick  played  by 
frolicsome  country  lasses  on  their 
sweethearts,  male  relations,  or  visitors 
(Grose).  Fr.,  lit  en  portefeuille. 

Apple-pie  Day  (Winchester).  The 
day  on  which  Six-and-six  (q.v.)  was 
played.  It  was  the  Thursday  after  the 
first  Tuesday  in  December.  So  called 
because  hot  apple-pies  were  served  on 
gomers  (q.v.)  in  College  for  dinner. 

Apple-pie  Order.  The  perfection 
of  neatness  and  exactness.  (1813). 

Apples-and-pears.  A  flight  of  stairs. 

Apple  Squire.  (1)  A  harlot's  con- 
venience. Hence  (2)  a  kept-gallant 
(see  Squire,  Bully,  and  Fancy-man) ; 
(3)  a  wittol  (q.v.) ;  and  (4)  a  pimp 
(q.v.).  Also  Pippin-squire,  Squire  of 
the  body,  Apple-John,  Apple-monger, 
Apron-man,  and  Apron-squire.  Apple- 
wife,  bawd.  Occasionally  Apron-squire, 
groomsman.  ( 1 500. ) 

Approach.  To  know  carnally. 
Hence  approachable,  wanton. 

April.  This  month  the  poetical 
type  of  verdure  (see  Green)  and  in- 
constancy is  frequently  found  in  con- 
temptuous combination.  Thus  April- 
fool  (or  Scots  April-gowk),  cuckoo : 
Fr.,  poisson  d'Avril),  one  who  is  sent 
on  a  sleeveless  errand  (for  strap -oil, 
pigeon's  milk,  the  squad  umbrella, 
the  diary  of  Eve's  grandmother,  etc.), 
or  who  is  the  victim  of  asinine  sport  on 
April-Fools'  (or  All  Fools')  Day  (1st 
April).  This  has  given  rise  to  the  sar- 
castic April-day,  a  wedding-day  ;  and 
April-gentleman,  a  newly-married  hus- 
band. Also  April-fish,  a  pimp  (Fr., 
maquereau) ;  April-squire,  a  new-made 
or  upstart  squire.  ( 1592. )  To  smell  of 
April  and  May,  a  simile  of  youth  and 
courtship.  (1596.)  Also  proverbial  say- 
ings :  A  windy  March  and  a  rainy 
April  make  a  beautiful  May ;  April 
showers  bring  forth  May  flowers ; 
When  April  blows  his  horn  it's  good 
for  hay  and  corn  ;  April  cling  good  for 
nothing ;  April — borrows  three  days 




of  March,  and  they  are  ill ;  A  cold 
April  the  barn  will  fill ;  An  April 
flood  carries  away  the  frog  and  her 
brood  ;  April  and  May  are  the  keys 
of  the  year. 

Apron.  1.  A  woman  :  generic  ;  cf. 
Muslin ;  Petticoat ;  Placket,  etc.  Hence 
tied  to  one's  apron  strings  (or  apron- 
led),  ( 1 )  under  petticoat  -  rule,  hen- 
pecked ;  and  (2)  in  close  attendance  ; 
apron  •  hold  (or  apron  -  string  hold,  or 
tenure),  a  life-interest  in  a  wife's  estate 
(Orose) ;  apron  -  squire  (see  Apple- 
squire)  ;  apron  -  husband,  a  domestic 
meddler ;  apron-up,  pregnant,  lumpy 
(q.vA  Also  (proverbial) :  Wise  as 
her  mother's  apron-strings,  dependent 
on  a  mother's  bidding.  (1542.)  2. 
Generic  for  one  wearing  an  apron : 
e.g.  a  shopkeeper,  a  waiter,  a  workman : 
also  apron-man,  apron-rogue,  aproneer. 
[Spec,  the  Parliamentary  party  (many 
of  whom  were  of  humble  origin) 
during  the  Civil  War :  by  Cavaliers 
in  contempt.]  Hence  (3),  a  cleric  of 
rank,  a  bishop  or  dean  (also  Apron- 
and-Gaiters).  As  verb,  to  cover  with 
(or  as  with)  an  apron  ;  and  aproned, 
of  the  working-class,  mechanic.  Hence 
checkered-apron,  a  barber ;  blue-apron 
(q.v.);  green-apron,  a  lay-preacher; 
white-apron,  a  prostitute.  (1592.) 

Apron-washings.     Porter. 

Aqua.  Water  :  also  Aqua-pompa- 
ginis  (Orose,  Dog-Latin).  Hence,  in 
jocose  combination,  aquapote,  aqua- 
bib  (Bailey,  1731),  and  aquatic,  a 
water-drinker;  aqua -bob,  an  icicle. 

Aquadiente.     Brandy.     (1835.) 

Aquatics.  (Eton).  1.  The  wet-bob 
(q.v.)  cricket- team ;  and  (2)  the  playing 
field  used  by  them  :  see  Sixpenny. 

A  qua- vitas.  Formerly  an  alchemic 
term,  but  long  popularly  generic  for 
ardent  spirits  ;  brandy,  whisky,  etc. 
[L.  water  of  life.  Cf.  French  eau-de- 
vie,  and  Irish  usquebaugh.}  Hence 
aqua-vitae  man,  (1)  a  quack,  and  (2)  a 
dram-seller.  (1542.) 

Arab.  (1)  A  young  street  vagrant: 
also  street  arab  and  city  arab.  Whence 
(2)  an  outcast  (1848.) 

Arabian-bird.  Anything  unique. 
[Properly  the  phoenix.]  Also  Arabian 
nights,  the  fabulous,  the  marvellous. 

Arcadian  -  nightingale  (or  bird), 
An  ass:  see  Nightingale.  (1694.) 

Arch.     1.  Properly  chief,  pre-emi- 

nent :  hence,  ( 1 )  clever,  crafty,  roguish 
(B.  E.) ;  and  (2)  extreme,  out-and-out 
(q.v.).  [0.  E.  D.  :  In  modern  use 
chiefly  prefixed  intensively  to  words  of 
bad  or  odious  sense.]  Thus,  arch- 
botcher,  a  clumsy  patch-worker  ;  arch- 
fool  (or  dolt),  an  out-and-out  duffer ; 
arch-knave,  a  rascal  of  parts  ;  arch-cove 
(or  rogue),  spec,  the  ringleader  of  a  band 
of  gipsies  or  thieves :  whence  arch- 
dell  (or  doxy),  the  same  in  rank  among 
the  female  canters  of  gipsies  (Orose) ; 
arch-whore,  a  bilking  harlot  (B.  E.), 
etc.  Also,  sharp,  Keen,  splenetic : 
usually  with  at  or  upon.  (1551.)  2. 
Saucy,  waggish.  Thus  arch-  (witty) 
fellow  (B.  IS.);  arch-  (pleasant)  wag 
(B.  E.) ;  arch  duke,  a  comical  or 
eccentric  fellow  (Orose).  (1662.)  See 

Archdeacon.  (Oxford).  Merton 
strong  ale. 

Archwif e.  A  masterful  woman  ;  a 
virago.  (1383.) 

Ard.     Hot  (Orose),  ardent 

Ardelio.  A  busybody,  meddler. 

Area-sneak  (or  slum).  A  petty 
thief :  spec,  one  working  houses  by 
means  of  an  area-gate  (Grose) :  see 
Sneak,  Slum,  and  Thief.  ( 1865. ) 

Arg.     To  argue,  grumble  :  cf.  Argle. 

Argal.  Therefore,  ergo  :  of  which  it 
is  a  corruption.  As  subs.,  a  clumsy 
argument  See  Argle.  (1602.) 

Argent.  Money  :  generic  :  spec, 
silver  money  (Bailey) :  see  Gent 
Hence  argentocracy,  the  power  of 
money;  Mammon  (q.v.).  (1500.) 

Argle.  To  argue  disputation/sly, 
haggle,  bandy  words;  also  angle- bargle, 
argol-bargol,  or  argie-bargie.  Whence 
argol-bargolous,  quarrelsome :  cf.  Arg. 

Argot.  The  jargon,  slang,  or 
peculiar  phraseology  of  a  class,  orig. 
that  of  thieves  and  rogues.  See  Slang 
and  Cant  Whence  argotic,  slangy. 

Argue.  To  argue  out  of  (away,  a 
dog's  tail  off,  etc.),  to  get  rid  of  by 
argument:  see  Talk  (1713.) 

Argufy.  (1)  To  argue,  worry, 
wrangle.  Whence  (2)  to  signify,  prove 
of  consequence,  follow  as  a  result  of 
argument  Argufitr,  a  contentious 
talker.  See  Arg  and  Argle.  (1751.) 

Aristippus.  1.  Canary  wine.  (1627.) 
2.  'A  Diet -drink,  or  Decoction  of 
Sarsa  China,  etc.  Sold  at  certain 




Coffee-houses,  and  drank  as  T  '  (B.  E. 
and  Grose). 

Ark  (or  Arch).  (1)  A  boat;  a 
wherry :  e.g.  Let  us  take  an  Ark  and 
winns,  let  us  take  a  sculler  (B.  E.  and 
Grose).  Hence  arkman,  a  waterman. 
Also  (2),  in  Western  America,  a  flat- 
bottomed  market-produce  boat  (Bart- 
lett) :  rarely  seen  since  the  introduction 
of  steam.  3.  A  barrack-room  chest : 
a  lingering  use  of  an  old  dialect 

Arkansas- toothpick.  A  large 
sheath  knife  :  orig.  a  bowie-knife  (q.v.) 

Ark-floater.  An  actor  well  ad- 
vanced in  years. 

Arm.  Colloquialisms  are :  To  make 
a  long  arm,  to  exert  oneself  ;  as  long  as 
one's  arm,  very  long  ;  to  work  at  arm's 
length,  to  do  awkwardly ;  one-  under 
the  arm  (tailor's),  an  extra  job  ;  in  the 
arms  of  Murphy  (or  Morpheus),  asleep : 
see  Murphy. 

Armful.  A  heap,  a  large  quantity ; 
spec,  an  endearment :  of  a  bouncing 
baby,  a  big  cuddlesome  wench,  etc. 

Armine.  A  wretched  person,  a 
beggar.  (1605.) 

Armour.  In  armour,  pot-valiant; 
primed  (q.v.).  ;  full  of  Dutch  courage 
(q.v.) :  see  Screwed  (B.  E.  and  Grose). 

Armpits.  To  work  under  the  arm- 
pits, to  escape  the  halter  by  the  skin  of 
one's  teeth,  to  practise  only  such  kinds 
of  depredation  as  will  amount,  upon 
conviction,  to  whatever  the  law  calls 
single,  or  petty,  larceny  ;  the  extent  of 
punishment  for  which  is  transportation 
for  seven  years.  [On  the  passing  of 
Sir  Samuel  Romilly's  Act,  capital 
punishment  was  abolished  for  highway 
robberies  under  40s.  in  value.] 

Arm- pro  p.  A  crutch  ;  a  wooden- 
leg  (q.v.). 

Arms-and-legs.  Small  beer  :  be- 
cause there  is  no  body  in  it  (Grose). 

Arm  -  slasher  (or  stabber).  A 
gallant  who  bled  his  arm  to  toast  his 
mistress ;  hence  to  dagger  (or  stab) 
arms  to  toast  a  lady-love.  (1611.) 

Armstrong.  See  Captain  Arm- 

Arrah.  An  expletive,  with  no 
special  meaning  (Grose) ;  an  expletive 
expressing  emotion  or  excitement,com- 
mon  in  Anglo-Irish  speech  (0.  E.  D.). 
[Farquhar,  who  first  used  the  term 
(1705)  was  of  Irish  birth.] 

Array.  (1)  To  thrash,  to  dress 
down  (q.v.);  (2)  to  afflict,  punish  (q.v.) ; 
and  (3)  defile.  Hence  as  subs.,  a  drub- 
bing, pickle  (q.v.),  plight,  a  pretty 
state  of  affairs.  (1388.) 

Arrow  (or  Arra).  A  corruption  of 
e'er  a,  or  ever  a.  (1750.) 

"Arry.  That  is  Harry:  a  popular 
embodiment  of  the  vulgar,  rollicking, 
yet  on  the  whole  good-tempered  rough 
of  the  metropolis.  Whence  'Arriet, 
'Arry's  young  woman.  [Popularised 
by  Milliken  in  a  series  of  ballads  in 
Punch.]  'Arryish,  vulgarly  jovial. 

Arst.     Asked. 

Arter.     After. 

Artesian.  A  Gippsland  (Victoria) 
brew  of  beer :  manufactured  with  water 
obtained  from  an  artesian  well  at  Sale 
— hence  artesian  (generic),  colonial 
beer  :  see  Cascade. 

Artful  Dodger.  1.  A  lodger.  2. 
An  expert  thief :  also  a  fellow  who 
dares  not  sleep  twice  in  the  same  place 
for  fear  of  arrest.  [The  Artful  Dodger, 
a  character  in  Dickens'  Oliver  Twiet.\ 

Arthur.  King  (or  Prince')  Arthur. 
A  sailor's  game.  When  near  the  line, 
or  in  a  hot  latitude,  a  man  who  is  to 
represent  King  Arthur,  is  ridiculously 
dressed,  having  a  large  wig  made  out 
of  oakum,  or  some  old  swabs.  He  is 
seated  on  the  side,  or  over  a  large  vessel 
of  water,  and  every  person  in  turn  is 
ceremoniously  introduced  to  him,  and 
has  to  pour  a  bucket  of  water  over  him. 
crying  out,  Hail,  King  Arthur  !  If 
during  the  ceremony  the  person  intro- 
duced laughs  or  smiles  (to  which  hia 
majesty  endeavours  to  excite  him  by 
all  sorts  of  ridiculous  gesticulations),  he 
changes  places  with,  and  then  becomes 
King  Arthur,  till  relieved  by  some 
brother  tar  who  has  as  little  command 
over  his  muscles  as  himself  (Grose) :  cf. 

Artichoke.  1.  A  term  of  contempt. 
(1600.)  2.  A  hanging :  also  hearty 
choak  (Grose) ;  whence  to  have  an  arti- 
choke and  caper  sauce  for  breakfast,  to 

Article.  1.  A  woman  :  e.g.  a  prime 
article  (Grose),  a  handsome  girl,  a  hell 
of  a  goer  (Lex.  Bal.).  2.  A  mildly 
contemptuous  or  sarcastic  address : 
usually  with  such  adjectives  as  pretty, 
nice,  etc.  Thus,  You're  a  pretty 
article,  You're  a  beauty  (q.v.) ; 
What  sort  of  an  article  do  you  think 


Artide  of  Virtue. 


you  arc  T  What's  your  name  when  out 
for  a  walk?  Also  (HaUiweU)  of  a 
wretched  animal.  3.  In  pi.,  a  suit  of 
clothes  (Grose). 

Article  of  Virtue.  A  virgin.  [A 
play  upon  virtue,  and  virtu.] 

Artilleryman.  A  drunkard :  cf. 
canon,  drunk,  and  see  Lushington. 

Artist  An  adroit  rogue,  skilful 
gamester.— N.  Y.  8.  D. 

As.     See  Make. 

Asia  Minor.  The  Kensington  and 
Bayswater  district  [Many  Anglo- 
Indians  reside  in  this  locality.  The 
nickname  is  double-barrelled,  for  the 
district  is  also  the  headquarters  of  the 
Greek  community  in  the  metropolis.] 
Cf.  New  Jerusalem,  Black  Hole,  etc. 

Asinego.  (1)  A  little  ass;  hence 
(2)  a  fool,  donkey  (q.v.),  duffer  (q.v.). 

Ask.  To  proclaim  in  church :  as  a 
marriage  ;  literally  to  ask  for  (or  the) 
banns  thereto.  Formerly  also  of  stray 
cattle,  etc.  [0.  E.  D. :  The  recognised 
expression  is  now  to  publish  the 
banns ;  but  ask  is  the  historical 
word.]  Whence  asking,  an  announce- 
ment in  church  of  intended  marriage 
(1461).  Ask  another,  a  jesting  or  con- 
temptuous retort  to  a  question  that 
one  cannot,  will  not,  or  ought  not,  to 
answer  :  also  Ask  bogy  (q.v.). 

Askew.  A  cup:  see  Skew  (Barman, 

Aspasia.  A  harlot  The  name  of 
one  of  the  celebrated  courtesans  of 
Athens,  called  Heterae  (iraipai),  many 
of  whom  were  highly  accomplished  and 
were  faithful  to  one  lover.  .  .  .  Repre- 
sentative of  a  fascinating  courtesan, 
and  more  rarely,  of  an  accomplished 

Aspen-leaf.     The  tongue.     (1532.) 

Ass.  Generic  for  stupidity,  clumsi- 
ness, and  ignorance.  Hence  ( 1 )  a  fool : 
see  Buffle.  [0.  E.  D. :  now  disused  in 
polite  literature  and  speech.]  Also  ass- 
head  :  whence  assheaded,  stupid  ;  and 
assheadedness,  folly.  To  make  an  ass  of, 
to  stultify  ;  to  make  an  ass  of  oneself,  to 
play  the  fool ;  Your  ass-ship  (a  mock 
title  :  cf.  lordship).  Also  Proverbs  and 
proverbial  sayings :  When  a  fool  is 
made  a  bishop  then  a  horned  ass  is  born 
therein  ( 1 400) :  Perhaps  thy  ass  can  tell 
thee  what  thou  knowest  not  (Nash) ; 
To  wrangle  for  an  ass's  shadow 
(Thijnne) ;  Go  sell  an  ass  (Topseli :  a 
charge  of  blockishness  to  a  dull  scholar). 

Angry  as  an  an  with  a  squib  in  his 
breech  (Cotgrave) ;  Honey  is  not  for 
an  ass's  mouth  (Shdton) ;  An  ass 
laden  with  gold  will  go  lightly  uphill 
(Shdton) ;  Asses  have  ears  as  well  as 
pitchers  (Middleton) ;  He  will  act  the 
ass's  part  to  get  some  bran  ( Urquhart) ; 
An  ass  in  a  lion's  skin  (Addison) ; 
An  unlettered  king  is  a  crowned  ass 
(Freeman) ;  to  plough  with  ox  and  ass, 
to  use  incongruous  means  ;  The  ass 
waggeth  his  ears  (Cooper,  1563 :  '  a 
proverbe  applied  to  theim,  whiche, 
although  they  lacke  learnynge,  yet  will 
they  babble  and  make  a  countenance, 
as  if  they  knew  somewhat').  2.  A 
compositor :  used  by  pressmen :  the 
tit- for- tat  is  pig  (q.v.) :  also  donkey  : 
Fr.,  mulet. 

Assassin.  A  breast  knot,  or  similar 
decoration  worn  in  front  [Cen- 
tury :  with  allusion  to  its  killing 

Assayes  (The).  The  2nd  battalion 
(late  74th)  Highland  Light  Infantry : 
for  distinction  at  Assaye,  when  every 
officer  present  save  one,  was  killed  or 
wounded,  and  the  battalion  was  re- 
duced to  a  mere  wreck  (Farmer,  MH. 
Forces  of  Ot.  and  Greater  Britain). 

Asses'  Bridge  (The).  The  fifth  pro- 
position in  the  First  Book  of  Euclid's 
Elements ;  the  pons  asinorum.  ( 1 780. ) 

Assig.  An  assignation  (B.  E.  and 

Assmanship  (or  Asswomanship). 
The  art  of  donkey-riding:  on  the  model 
of  horsemanship.  (1800.) 

Aste.  Money  :  generic  :  see  Rhino 
(Nares).  (1612.) 

Astronomer.  A  horse  with  a  high 
carriage  of  the  head ;  a  star-gazer 

At  See  All ;  Breeches ;  Hand  ; 
Have  ;  Pickpurse  ;  Rest ;  That ;  You. 

Athanasian  Wench.  A  forward 
girl ;  Quicunque  vult  (q.v.) :  see  Tart 

Athens.  The  Modern  Athens.  (1) 
Edinburgh ;  and  (2)  Boston,  Mass, 
(also  The  Athens  of  America). 

Atlantic  -  ranger.  A  herring,  a 
sea-rover  (q.v.) :  see  Glasgow  magis- 

Atkins.     See  Tommy  Atkins. 

Atomy.  1.  An  anatomy,  specimen, 
skeleton  ;  also  otamy :  whence  (2)  a 
very  lean  person,  walking  skeleton 
(1598).  2.  A  diminutive  person,  pigmy 
(1591).  3.  An  empty-headed  indi- 



Avast  I 

Atrocity.  Anybody  or  anything 
grievously  below  the  ordinary  stand- 
ard or  out  of  the  common  :  e.g.  a  bad 
blunder,  a  flagrant  violator  of  good 
taste,  a  very  weak  pun,  etc.  Hence 
atrocious,  shockingly  bad,  execrable, 
and  as  adv.  excessively.  (1831.) 

Attack.  A  commencement  of  opera- 
tions ;  as  (jocularly)  upon  dinner,  a 
problem,  correspondence,  etc.  Also  as 
verb.  (1812.) 

Attempt.  To  approach  a  woman ; 
to  attack  the  chastity.  Hence  at- 
tempter,  attemptable,  and  other  deriva- 
tives. (1593.) 

Attic.  The  head,  brain,  upper 
storey  (q.v.) 

Attic-salt  (style  or  wit).  Well- 
turned  phrases  spiced  with  refined  and 
delicate  humour.  (1633.) 

Attleborough.  Pinchbeck,  Brum- 
magem (q.v.).  [Attleborough  is  cele- 
brated for  its  manufacture  of  trashy 

Attorney.  1.  A  knave,  swindler ; 
an  ancient  (and  still  general)  reproach. 
Whence  attorneydom  and  attorneyism 
(in  contempt  or  abuse).  (1732.)  2.  A 
drumstick  of  goose,  or  turkey,  grilled 
and  devilled  :  cf.  Devil.  (1828.) 

Attorney- General's  Devil.  See 

Auctioneer.  To  tip  (or  give)  the 
auctioneer,  to  knock  a  man  down ; 
Tom  Sayers'  right  hand  was  nick- 
named the  auctioneer. 

Audit-ale  (or  Audit).  A  special 
brew  of  ale :  orig.  for  use  on  audit  days. 
Univ.  (1823.) 

Audley.     See  John  Audley. 

Aufe.     See  Oaf. 

Auger.     A  prosy  talker,  bore  (q.v.). 

Aught.  A  common  illiteracy  for 
naught,  the  cyper  0. 

Auld  Hornie.  The  Devil :  see 

Auld  Reekie.  The  Old  Town, 
Edinburgh;  i.e.  Old  Smoky.  (1826.) 

Auly  Auly.  (Win.  Coll.:  obsolete). 
A  game  played  in  Grass  Court  on 
Saturday  afternoons  after  chapel.  An 
indiarubber  ball  was  thrown  one  to 
another,  and  everybody  was  obliged  to 
join  in.  The  game,  though  in  vogue 
in  1830,  was  not  played  as  late  as 

Aumbes-ace.     See  Ames-ace. 

Aunt.  1.  A  bawd  ;  a  harlot  (B.  E. 
and  Grose) :  hence  (old  sayings)  My 
aunt  will  feed  me,  She  is  one  of  my 

aunts  that  made  my  uncle  go  a-begging 
(or  that  my  uncle  never  got  any  good 
of).  (1604.)  2.  An  endearment  or 
familiar  address  ;  also  aunty  :  spec.  (1) 
in  nursery  talk,  a  female  friend  of  the 
family  ;  and  (2)  a  matronly  woman : 
hence  aunthood  :  cf.  Uncle.  (1592.) 
3.  (Oxford  and  Cambridge  :  obsolete.) 
The  sister  university.  (1655.)  Phrases. 
If  my  aunt  had  been  my  uncle  what 
would  have  happened  then  ?  (a  retort 
on  inconsequent  talk) ;  to  go  and  see 
one's  aunt,  to  go  to  the  W.C.  (see  Mrs. 

Aunt  Sally.  A  game  common  to 
race-courses  and  fairs  ;  a  wooden  head 
is  mounted  on  a  pole  to  form  a  target ; 
in  the  mouth  is  placed  a  clay  pipe, 
which  the  player,  standing  at  twenty 
or  thirty  yards,  tries  to  smash. 

Au  Reservoir  I     Au  revoir. 

Aurum  Potabile.  That  is,  Drink- 
able gold  ;  '  a  medicine  made  of  the 
body  of  gold  itself,  totally  reduced, 
without  corrosive,  into  a  blood -red, 
gummie,  or  honylike  substance '  (Phil- 
lips) ;  also,  some  rich  Cordial  Liquor, 
with  pieces  of  leaf  gold  in  it  (Kersey). 

Australian  Flag.  A  rucked  -  up 

Australian  Grip.  A  hearty  hand- 

Autem  (Autum,  Autom,  or  An- 
tem).  A  church  (Harman,  B.  E., 
Grose).  As  adj.,  married ;  also  in 
numerous  combinations,  thus  :  autem- 
bawler  (-cackler,  -jet  or  -prickear),  a 
parson :  spec,  of  Dissenters ;  autem- 
cackle  tub,  (1)  a  dissenting  meeting- 
house, (2)  a  pulpit ;  autum-cove,  a 
married  man  ;  autum-dipper  (or  -diver), 
(1)  a  Baptist,  (2)  a  thief  working 
churches  or  conventicles,  and  (3)  an 
overseer  or  guardian  of  the  poor; 
autum-goggler,  a  pretended  French 
prophet  (Grose) ;  autum-mort,  a  mar- 
ried woman,  also  the  Twenty-fourth 
Order  of  the  Canting  Tribe,  Travelling, 
Begging  (and  often  Stealing)  about  the 
Country  with  one  Child  hi  Arms,  an- 
other on  Back,and  (sometimes)  leading 
a  third  in  the  Hand  ;  autum-quaver,  a 
Quaker  ;  autum-quaver  tub,  a  Quaker's 

Author-baiting.  Calling  a  play- 
wright before  the  curtain  to  subject 
him  to  annoyance — yelling,  hooting, 
bellowing,  etc. 

Avastl  Hold!  Stop!  Stay! 



Avering  subs.  (old).  Begging  on 
the  shallow  (q.v.)  dodge.  (1695.) 

Avoirdupois.     Excess  of  flesh,  fat. 

Avoirdupois- lay.  Stealing  brass 
weights  of!  the  counters  of  shops 

Avuncular.  Humorously  employed 
in  various  combinations :  e.g.  avun- 
cular relation,  a  pawnbroker  ;  an  uncle 
(q.v.);  avuncular  life,  pawn  broking  ; 
also  avuncular,  of  or  pertaining  to  an 
uncle ;  to  avunculize,  to  act  as  an 
uncle.  (1662.) 

Awake.  On  the  alert,  vigilant, 
fully  appreciative  :  see  Fly.  (1785.) 

Away.  Away  (forthwith,  con- 
tinuously) occurs  in  several  colloquial- 
isms, mostly  imperative.  Thus  :  Fire 
away.  Commence  immediately ;  Say 
away,  Spit  it  out ;  Peg  away,  Keep 
going ;  Right  away,  at  once :  Away 
the  mare,  Adieu  to  care,  Begone  ;  Far- 
and-away,  altogether ;  Who  can  hold 
that  will  away  1  Who  can  bind  an  un- 
willing tongue  ?  To  mistake  away,  to 
pilfer  and  pretend  mistake;  Away  back, 
(1)  long  ago,  and  (2)  see  Way-back. 

Awful.  Monstrous :  hence  a  generic 
intensive  —  great,  long,  exceedingly 
good,  bad,  pretty,  etc.  Thus  an  aw- 

ful  (very  unpleasant)  lime  ;  awful  (side- 
splitting) fun  ;  awfully  (uncommonly) 
jolly,  etc.  Also  penny-awful,  a  blood- 
curdling tale :  cf.  Dreadful  shocker, 
Blood-and-guts  story,  etc.  As  adv., 
exceedingly,  extremely.  (1816.) 

Awkward.    Pregnant,  lumpy  (q.v.). 

Awkward-squad.    Recruits  at  drill. 

Awls.     See  Alls. 

Ax.  This  archaic  form  of  ask,  once 
and  long  literary,  survives  dialectically 
[O.  E.  D. :  Ax,  down  to  nearly  1600, 
was  the  regular  literary  form  :  it  was 
supplanted  in  standard  English  by  ask, 
originally  the  northern  form.]  Also  ax- 
my-eye,  a  cute  fellow,  a  knowing  blade. 
(1380.)  Phrases:  To  have  an  ax  to 
grind,  to  have  personal  interests  to 
serve ;  to  put  the  ax  in  the  helve,  to 
solve  a  doubt,  unriddle  a  puzzle ;  to 
send  the  ax  after  the  helve  (or  the  helve 
after  the  hatchet),  to  despair ;  to  hang  up 
one's  ax,  to  desist  from  fruitless  labour, 
abandon  a  useless  project ;  to  open  a 
door  with  an  ax  (said  of  barren  or  un- 
profitable labour). 

Axe  wad  die.  To  wallow.  Hence 
axewaddler  (a  term  of  contempt). 

Ayrshires.  Glasgow  and  South- 
western Railway  Stock. 

B.  1.  The  title  of  a  captain  in  the 
army  of  the  Irish  Republican  Brother- 
hood (H.  J.  Byron).  2.  (Harrow).  A 
standard  in  Gymnasium  the  next 
below  A  (q.v.).  3.  (Felsted).  See  A. 
Not  to  know  B  from  a  bull's  foot  (a 
battledore,  a  broomstick,  or  any  allitera- 
tive jingle),  to  be  illiterate  or  ignorant, 
unable  to  distinguish  which  is  which  : 
also  affirmatively :  see  A,  Battledore, 
Chalk,  etc.  (1401.)  B  Flat  (or  B),  a 
bed  bug,  Norfolk  Howard  (q.v.):  cf. 
F  sharp.  (1853.) 

Ba.  To  kiss  :  also  as  subs.  :  cf. 
Buss.  [0.  E.  D. :  probably  a  nursery 
or  jocular  word ;  Century,  perhaps 
the  humorous  imitation  of  a  smack.] 

Baa.  A  bleat ;  also  as  verb  ;  of  a 
sheep.  Hence  baaling,  a  lambkin : 
also  baa-lamb  ;  baaing,  noisy  silliness, 
and  as  adj.  (1500.) 

Bab.  The  first  word  children  use, 
as  with  us  dad  or  daddie  or  bab  (F lorio): 
Also  babba. 

Babber-lipped.     See  Blabber-lips. 

Babble.  Confused  unintelligible 
talk  such  as  was  used  at  the  building  of 
the  tower  of  Babel  (B.  E.  and  Grose). 
Babbler,  a  great  talker  (B.  E.). 
[O.  E.  D.  :  Common  to  several  lan- 
guages :  in  none  can  its  history  be 
carried  far  back  ;  as  yet  it  is  known  as 

early  in  English  as  anywhere  else 

No  direct  connection  with  Babel  can  be 
traced  ;  though  association  with  that 
may  have  affected  the  senses.] 

Babbler.  1.  A  hound  giving  too 
much  tongue.  (1732.)  2.  See  Babble. 

Babe.  1.  The  last  elected  member 
of  the  House  of  Commons :  cf.  father 
of  the  House,  the  oldest  representative. 
2.  The  youngest  member  of  a  class  at 
the  United  States  Military  College, 
West  Point.  3.  An  auction  shark  (q.v. ) ; 
a  knock-out  (q.v.)  man  :  for  a  con- 
sideration these  agree  not  to  oppose  the 
bidding  of  larger  dealers,  who  thus 
keep  down  the  price  of  lota.  4.  (Ameri- 
can). A  Baltimore  rowdy  :  also  blood 


Babe  in  the  Wood. 


tub    (q.v.),    plug-ugly    (q.v.) :      see 

Babe  in  the  Wood.  1.  A  culprit 
in  the  stocks  or  pillory  (Grose).  2.  In 
pi.,  dice. 

Baboo  (or  Babu).  In  Bengal,  and 
elsewhere,  among  Anglo-Indians,  it  is 
often  used  with  a  slight  savour  of  dis- 
paragement as  characterising  a  super- 
ficially cultivated,  but  too  often  effemi- 
nate Bengali ;  and  from  the  extensive 
employment  of  the  class  to  which  the 
term  was  applied  as  a  title  in  the  capa- 
city of  clerks,  in  English  offices  the 
word  has  come  often  to  signify  a  native 
clerk  who  writes  English  (Yule). 
Hence  baboo -English,  superfine;  grand- 
iloquent English  such  as  is  written  by 
a  baboo  ;  also  baboodom  and  babooism. 

Baboon.  A  term  of  abuse :  see  Ape. 
Whence  baboonery  ;  baboonish  ;  and  ba- 
boonize,  to  monkey  (q.v.).  (1380.) 

Baby  (or  Babe).  1.  A  childish  per- 
son :  e.g.  a  great  baby,  a  mere  baby, 
etc.  Hence,  to  smell  of  the  baby,  to  be 
infantine  or  childish  (in  character  or 
ability) :  cf.  Baby-act.  Also,  to  act  (or 
treat)  childishly;  babyhood  (babydom 
or  babyism),  childishness ;  baby-bunt- 
ing, an  endearment.  (1596.)  2.  In  pi., 
pictures  in  books.  [0.  E.  D.:  perh.  orig. 
the  ornamental  tail- pieces  and  borders 
with  Cupids  and  grotesque  figures  in- 
terworked.]  (1605.)  3.  The  minute  re- 
flection of  one  gazing  into  another's  eye. 
Hence  to  look  babies  (or  a  boy)  in  the 
eyes,  to  look  amorously ;  to  cast  sheep' s- 
eyes  (q.v.).  (1586.)  4.  A  doll,  puppet, 
a  child's  plaything :  also  baby-clouts, 
a  rag  -  doll :  see  Bartholomew  -  baby. 
(1530.)  As  adj.,  small;  tiny;  e.g.  a 
baby-glass,  baby-engine,  etc.  (1859.) 
To  kiss  the  baby,  to  take  a  drink ;  to 
smile  (q.v.). 

Baby  Act.  The  legal  defence  of  in- 
fancy :  hence  to  plead  the  baby  act,  (1) 
to  plead  minority  as  avoiding  a  con- 
tract ;  and  (2)  to  excuse  oneself  on  the 
ground  of  inexperience. 

Baby-farmer.  A  professional  adop- 
ter of  infants,  minder  (q.v.) :  spec,  in 
an  evil  sense  :  once  the  money  is  paid, 
the  children  are  frequently  gradually 
done  to  death.  Whence  Baby-farming. 

Baby-herder.     A  nurse. 

Babylon.  Generic  for  luxury  and 
magnificence.  Hence  (1)  the  papal 
power  (formerly  identified  with  the 
mystical  Babylon  of  the  Apocalypse) ; 

(2)  any  large  city  :  spec.  London  (also 
Modern  Babylon).  Babylonian,  (1)  a 
papist ;  and  (2)  an  astrologer  (Chaldea 
was  the  ancient  seat  of  the  craft) ; 
babylonish,  popish.  (1564.) 

Babylonitish.  (Winchester).  A 
dressing  gown.  [That  is  Babylonitish 

Baby's-pap.     A  cap. 

Baby  Wee-wees.  Buenos  Ayres 
Water  Works  shares. 

Bacca.  Tobacco:  Fr.,  perlot  (from 
perle).  Also  Bacco,  Baccy,  Backer, 
and  Backey.  (1833.) 

Bacca- pipes.  Whiskers  curled  in 
ringlets  :  obsolete  :  see  Mutton-chops. 

Baccare  (or  Bakkare),  Go  back  ! 
Give  place !  Away!  (1473.) 

Bacchus.  1.  Wine,  intoxicating 
liquor.  Whence  son  of  Bacchus,  a 
tippler :  see  Lushington ;  and  Bacchi 
plenus,  drunk :  see  Screwed.  [In- 
numerable derivatives  and  combina- 
tions have  been  and  are  still  in  more  or 
less  regular  and  literary  use.]  (1496.) 
2.  (Eton.)  Verses  written  (c.  1561)  on 
Shrove  Tuesday  in  honour  or  dispraise 
of  Bacchus — because  poets  were  con- 
sidered the  clients  of  Bacchus.  .  .  . 
This  custom  was  continued  almost  into 
modern  days,  and  though  the  subject 
was  changed,  the  copy  of  verses  was 
still  called  a  Bacchus. 

Bach  (or  Batch).  To  live  as  a 

Bachelor.  Then  the  town  butt  is  a 
bachelor,  the  retort  incredulous  on  a 
woman's  chastity  (Bay). 

Bachelor's  Baby.  A  bastard:  see 
Bye-blow  and  Bachelor's- wife.  ( 1672. ) 

Bachelor's  Buttons.  To  wear 
bachelor's  buttons,  to  be  a  bachelor. 
[Orey.  Country  fellows  carried  the 
flowers  of  this  plant  in  their  pockets,  to 
know  whether  they  should  succeed 
with  their  sweethearts,  and  they  j  udged 
of  their  good  or  bad  success  by  their 
growing  or  not  growing  there.] 

Bachelor's-fare.  Bread  and 
cheese  and  kisses.  (1738.) 

Bachelor's- wif  e .  (1)  An  ideal  wife; 
and  (2)  a  harlot :  whence  bachelor's 
baby,  a  bastard.  (1562.) 

Back.  1.  To  espouse,  advocate,  or 
support,  a  matter,  by  money,  influence, 
authority,  etc. :  commonly,  to  back  up. 
Hence  (2),  in  racing,  to  wager,  or  bet  in 
support  of  one's  opinion,  judgment,  or 
fancy ;  to  back  the  field,  to  bet  against  all 
horses  save  one,  usually  the  favourite ; 



Backing  On. 

backed,  betted  on;  backer,  (1)  a  sup- 
porter, back  -  friend  (q.v.),  and  (2) 
a  layer  of  odds  :  cf.  bookie  ;  backing, 
support.  (1548.)  3.  To  endorse,  counter- 
sign :  e.g.  to  back  a  cheque  ;  also  to 
back  a  bill,  to  become  responsible  for 
payment :  cf.  to  foot  an  account ; 
backed,  endorsed,  accepted :  for- 
merly to  direct  or  address  a  letter : 
prior  to  the  general  use  of  envelopes, 
the  address  was  written  on  the  back  of 
the  folded  sheet  (1768) :  to  be  backed, 
to  be  carried  for  dead.  Phrases  and 
colloquialisms :  To  give  one  the  back, 
to  ignore ;  behind  one's  back,  out  of 
sight,  hearing,  or  knowledge ;  to  give 
back,  to  turn  tail ;  to  turn  one's  (or  the) 
back  on,  (1)  to  go,  (2)  abandon,  and  (3) 
snub  ;  back  ana  side  (back  and  belly,  or 
back  and  edge),  all  over,  completely, 
through  thick  and  thin ;  to  take  the  back 
on  oneself,  to  run  away ;  with  back  to 
the  wall,  hard  -  pressed,  struggling 
against  odds ;  to  have  by  the  back,  to 
seize,  lay  hold  of ;  to  break  the  back, 
(1)  to  overburden,  (2)  all  but  finish  (a 
task) ;  to  ride  on  one's  back,  to  deceive  ; 
to  get  the  back  of,  (I)  to  take  in  the  rear, 
and  (2)  have  at  an  advantage  ;  on  one's 
back,  (1)  floored  (q.v.),  (2)  at  the  end 
of  one's  resources,  (3)  sick  or  indis- 
posed ;  to  have  (put,  get,  or  set)  one's 
back  up,  ( 1)  to  resist,  rouse,  and  (2)  get 
(or  be)  angry  (B.  E.  and  Grose) :  whence, 
don't  get  your  back  up  \  Keep  calm  1 
or  Your  back's  up,  a  jeer  at  an  angry 
hunchbacked  man  ;  to  back  out,  to  re- 
tire cautiously,  escape  from  a  dilemma; 
to  give  (or  make)  a  back,  (1)  to  lend  a 
hand,  and  (2)  bend  the  body,  as  at  leap- 
frog ;  to  back  down,  ( 1 )  to  yield  or 
retire  from  a  matter,  and  (2)  eat  one's 
words :  hence  a  back-down  (or  square 
back  down),  (1)  utter  collapse,  and  (2)  a 
severe  rebuff  ;  to  be  on  a  man's  back,  to 
chide,  be  severe  upon ;  to  see  the  back  of, 
to  get  rid  of.  Also  His  back  is  broad 
enough  to  bear  jests  (Kay) ;  What 
is  got  over  the  devil's  back  is  spent 
under  his  belly.  To  back  up  (Win- 
chester), to  call  out :  e.g.  Why  didn't 
you  back  up?  I  would  have  come  and 
helped  you.  In  College,  times  are 
backed  up  by  Junior  in  Chambers : 
such  as  Three  quarters,  Hour, 
Bells  go  single,  Bells  down.  See 

Back-and-belly.  All  over,  com- 
pletely :  also  back-and-bed,  and  cf. 
back  -  and  •  edge  (supra,  s.  v.  Back, 

phrases).  Hence  to  keep  one  back-and- 
belly,  to  provide  everything,  feed  and 
clothe ;  to  beat  one  back-and-belly,  to 
thrash  thoroughly,  (c.  1300.) 

Backare.     See  Baccare. 

Backbiter.  1.  One  who  slanders 
another  behind  his  back,  i.e.  in  his 
absence  (Grose).  Also  (2)  His  bosom 
friends  are  become  his  back  -  biters, 
said  of  a  lousy  man. 

Back-breaker.  1.  A  hard  task- 
master :  spec,  the  foreman  of  a  gang  of 
farm  labourers  ;  and  (2)  any  task  that 
requires  excessive  exertion.  Hence 
back-breaking,  arduous. 

Back-cap.  To  depreciate,  dispar- 
age :  also  to  give  a  back-cap. 

Back-cheat  A  cloak ;  a  wrap- 
rascal  (q.v.). 

Backdoor.  The  fundament.  Hence 
backdoor  -  trot,  diarrhoea.  As  adj., 
clandestine,  speciously  secret :  also 
backstairs :  e.g.  backdoor  counsellor, 
backstairs  influence  (or  work),  etc.  ; 
orig.  and  spec,  of  underhand  intrigue 
at  Court,  i.e.  when  the  Sovereign  is 
approached  secretly  by  the  private 
stairs  of  a  palace  instead  of  by  the 
State  entrance.  (1611.) 

Back-end.  The  last  two  months  of 
the  racing  season,  commencing  with 
October :  also  as  adj.  [Properly,  the 
latter  part  of  autumn.]  Hence  back- 
ender,  a  horse  entered  for  a  race  late  in 
the  season.  (1820.) 

Backfall.  A  trip  or  fall  on  the 
back,  as  also  backheel  and  backlock. 
Also  as  verb.  (1713.) 

Back- friend.  (1)  A  secret  enemy; 
one  who  holds  back  in  time  of  need. 
Also  (2)  an  ally  (see  Back,  verb,  2). 
(1472.)  (3)  A  splinter  of  skin  formed 
near  the  roots  of  the  finger-nail,  a 
stepmother's  blessing  (q.v.). 

Back-gammon.     See  Backdoor. 

Back-handed  Turn.  An  unprofit- 
able bargain. 

Back-hander.  1.  A  glass  of  wine 
out  of  turn,  the  bottle  being  passed 
back  or  retained  for  a  second  glass  in- 
stead of  following  the  sun  round  the 
table.  Hence  backhand  (verb)  and 
backhanding.  (1855.)  2.  A  blow  on 
the  face  delivered  with  the  back  of  the 
hand  ;  hence  an  unexpected  rebuff,  a 
set-down  (q.v.).  (1836.) 

Backing  and  Filling.  Shifty, 
irresolute,  shilly-shally  :  orig.  nautical 

Backing  On.     See  Turning-on. 


Backings  up. 


Backings  up  (Winchester).  The 
unconsumed  ends  of  half  -  burned 
faggots :  obsolete. 

Back  Jump.  A  back  window  :  see 
Jump  (Grose). 

Backmarked.  To  be  backmarked, 
in  handicapping  to  receive  less  start 
from  scratch  than  previously  given. 

Back  -  paternoster.  See  Back- 

Back  -  scratcher.  1.  A  wooden 
toy  on  the  principle  of  a  watchman's 
rattle,  which,  drawn  down  the  back, 
sounds  like  the  ripping  up  of  cloth ; 
much  in  favour  at  fairs  and  in  crowds  ; 
its  use  (in  London)  is  now  (1904)  pro- 
hibited by  police  order.  2.  A  flatterer : 
hence  back-scratching,  flattery  :  cf.  Ka 
me,  Ka  thee. 

Back- seam.  To  be  down  on  one1  a 
back-seam,  to  be  down  on  one's  luck. 

Back  Seat.  To  take  a  back  seat,  to 
retire  into  obscurity,  confess  failure,  be 
left  behind.  [The  colloquialism  re- 
ceived an  immense  send  off  by 
Andrew  Johnson  in  1868 :  In  the 
work  of  reconstruction  traitors  should 
take  back  seats.] 

Back-set  (modern,  Set-back).  A 
rebuff,  untoward  circumstance,  relapse. 
Hence,  to  set  back,  to  check. 

Back-slang.  1.  A  variety  of  slang, 
orig.  costers,  in  which  a  word  is 
slightly  veiled  by  being  written  or  pro- 
nounced as  nearly  as  possible  back- 
wards :  thus  yob,  boy ;  cool,  look ; 
yennep,  penny ;  etc.  2.  See  Slum. 
3.  A  back-room;  also  the  back-entrance 
to  any  house  or  premises  ;  thus,  we'll 
give  it  'em  on  the  back  slum,  means 
we'Jl  get  in  at  the  backdoor.  As  verb, 

( 1 )  To  enter  or  come  out  of  a  house  by 
the  backdoor  ;  or  to  go  a  circuitous  or 
private  way  through   the   streets,  in 
order  to  avoid  any  particular  place  in 
the  direct  road,  is  termed  back-slanging 
it  (Grose.).     (2)  (Australian)  to  ask  for 
hospitality  on  the  road  :  a  common  and 
recognised  up-country  practice. 

Back -slum.  See  Slum  2,  and 

Backs  tair.     See  Backdoor. 

Backstaircase.  A  bustle,  dress 
improver :  see  Birdcage. 

Back-stall.     See  Stale,  subs.  5. 

Back-talk.      (1)  A   rude   answer; 

(2)  contradiction  ;  (3)  an  insinuation  ; 
and  (4)  withdrawal  from  a  promise  or 
an  accepted  invitation  (Lane.) :  also 
back-word  and  back -answer.     Hence 

backward  -  answer,  a  perverse  reply  ; 
No  back  talk  !   Shut  up  !     (1605.) 

Back-teeth.  To  have  one's  back 
teeth  afloat,  to  be  drunk  :  see  Screwed. 

Back- timber.  Clothes  :  cf.  Belly- 
timber.  (1656.) 

Back  Tommy.  Cloth  to  cover  the 
stays  at  the  waist. 

Backtrack.  To  take  the  back-track, 
to  retreat,  back  out  (q.v.). 

Back- trade.  A  backward  course. 

Back- trick.  A  caper  backwards 
in  dancing.  (1601.) 

Backward.  A  few  phrases  fall 
into  alphabet  here  ;  To  say  (or  sing) 
the  Te  Deum  (the  Lord's  Prayer  or  to 
spell)  backwards,  to  mutter,  curse :  also 
as  a  charm  :  hence  back-paternoster  (or 
prayer),  an  imprecation ;  to  go  back- 
wards,  to  go  to  the  W.C.  :  see  Mrs. 
Jones  ;  to  piss  backwards,  to  defecate ; 
to  blow  backwards,  crepitate ;  If  I 
were  to  fall  backwards,  I  should  break 
my  nose  (Nay  :  It.,  i.e.  I  am  so  foiled 
in  everything  I  undertake).  See  Bad 

Backwardation.  A  sum  which  a 
seller  pays  for  not  being  obliged  to 
deliver  the  shares  at  the  time  before 
agreed  upon,  but  to  carry  them  over  to 
the  following  account :  cf.  Contango. 
Also  Backwardization. 

Back-word.     See  Back-talk. 

Backy.  A  shopmato  working  be- 
hind another. 

Bacon.  1.  Generic  for  rusticity.  Thus 
bacon-slicer  (bacon-chops  or  chaw-bacon) 
a  rustic  ;  bacon-brains,  a  stupid  clod- 
hopper :  hence  bacon-brained  (-faced  or 
-fed),  clownish,  dull  (Bee  and  Grose) : 
also  bacon-faced  (or  -side),  fat-jowled, 
fat,  sleek ;  bacon-picker,  a  glutton. 
(1596.)  2.  The  human  body.  Whence 
to  save  one's  bacon,  to  save  appearances, 
to  escape  injury  or  loss  (B.  E.,  Grose, 
Bee) :  Fr.,  sauver  son  lard  ;  to  sell  one's 
bacon,  (1)  to  work  for  hire  and  spec., 
(2)  to  play  the  harlot  for  bread. 
(1362.)  To  pvll  bacon,  described  in  the 
Ingoldsby  Legends  :  He  put  his  thumb 
unto  his  nose  and  spread  his  fingers 
out,  to  take  a  sight  (q.v.),  to  make 
Queen  Anne's  Fan  (q.v.).  Phrases:  A 
good  voice  to  beg  bacon  (said  in  jeer 
of  an  ill  voice)  (B.  E.  and  Grose) ; 
When  the  devil  is  a  hog,  you  shall  eat 
bacon  (Ray). 

Bad  (or  Badly).  Very  much, 
greatly.  Also  colloquial  phrases ;  to  go 


Bad  Bargain. 

Bad  Way. 

to  the  bad,  to  go  to  ruin  ;  to  be  [any- 
thing] to  the  bad,  to  show  a  deficit,  be 
on  the  wrong  side  of  an  account ;  to 
come  back  again  like  a  bad  penny,  (1) 
of  anything  unwelcome,  and  (2)  a 
jocular  assurance  of  return ;  not  half 
bad,  fairly  good ;  bad  to  beat,  difficult 
to  excel ;  to  want  badly,  the  superla- 
tive of  desire ;  cruel  bad,  very  bad. 
Also  Give  a  dog  a  bad  name  and  you 
may  hang  him.  (1816.) 

Bad  Bargain.     See  Q.H.B. 

Bad- break.  A  corruption  of  bad 

Bad  Crowd  Generally.  In  sing., 
a  mean  wretch,  no  great  shakes 

Bad-egg  (-halfpenny,  -hat,  -lot, 
penny,  etc.).  1.  A  ne'er-do-weel, 
loose  fish :  in  America  more  inde- 
finitely used  than  in  England.  Also 
(old),  a  bad  or  risky  speculation :  Fr., 
mauvais  gobet.  (1363.) 

Bad  Form.  Conduct  not  in  keep- 
ing with  a  conventional  standard, 

Badge.  'A  mark  of  Distinction 
among  poor  People ;  as  Porters,  Water- 
men, Parish- Pensioners,  and  Hospital- 
boys,  Blew -coats  and  Badges  being 
the  ancient  Liveries'  (B.  E.).  Hence 
badge-cove  (or  -man),  a  parish  pensioner 
(Grose).  To  have  one  «  badge,  to  be 
burned  in  the  hand  :  e.g.  He  has  got 
his  badge  and  piked,  He  has  been 
burned  in  the  hand  and  set  at  liberty 

Badger.  1.  They  that  buy  up  a 
quantity  of  Corn  and  hoard  it  up  in 
the  same  Market,  till  the  price  rises  ; 
or  carry  it  to  another  where  it  bears 
a  better  (B.  E.).  [O.  E.  D.  :  Origin 
unknown :  Fuller  derived  it  from  L., 
bajutare,  to  carry  (as  if  a  cant  con- 
traction baj.,  cf.  the  modern  zoo,  cab, 
etc.),  but  evidence  is  required  before 
this  can  be  admitted  for  the  15c.  .  .  . 
By  Act  5  and  6  Ed.  VI.  o.  14.  7, 
Badgers  were  required  to  be  licensed  by 
the  Justices  (the  origin  of  the  hawker's 
license).]  2.  A  river  desperado  ;  vil- 
lains who  rob  near  rivers,  into  which 
they  throw  the  bodies  of  those  they 
murder  (Grose) :  see  Ark-ruffian.  3.  A 
panel-thief  (q.v.) :  hence  Badger-crib. 
4.  A  red-haired  individual.  5.  A  com- 
mon prostitute.  6.  The  impersonator 
of  Neptune  in  the  festivities  incident  to 
Crowing  the  Lone ;  also  Badger-bag ; 
see  Ambassador  and  Arthur.  7.  (Wel- 

lington School)  A  member  of  the  2nd 
XV.  at  football.  [A  badge  is  worn  by 
each  individual :  see  sense  1.]  8.  A 
brush ;  spec,  when  made  of  badger's 
hair.  9.  See  Badger  State.  As  verb, 
to  worry  unceasingly :  as  a  badger  when 
baited  ;  to  pester  :  usually  of  a  helpless 
victim  (Bee).  Hence  badgered,  wor- 
ried, teased ;  badgering,  heckling, 
persecution:  Fr.,  aguigner.  (1794.) 
To  overdraw  the  badger,  to  overdraw  a 
banking  account.  (1843.) 

Badger-box  (Australian).  A  bad- 
ger-box  is  like  an  inverted  V  in  section. 
They  are  covered  with  bark,  with  a 
thatch  of  grass  along  the  ridge,  and  are 
on  an  average  about  14  X  10  feet  at  the 
ground,  and  9  or  10  feet  high. 

Badgerly.  Elderly,  grey-haired : 
cf.  grey  as  a  badger.  (1753.) 

Badger  State.  (1)  The  State  of 
Wisconsin.  [Badgers  once  abounded 
there.]  Whence  Badger,  an  inhabitant 
of  Wisconsin. 

Bad  Give-away.     See  Give-away. 

Bad-halfpenny.     See  Bad-egg. 

Bad  Job.  An  ill  bout,  bargain,  or 
business  (B.  E.). 

Bad  Man.  A  professional  fighter 
or  man-killer,  but  who  is  sometimes 
perfectly  honest.  These  men  do  most 
of  the  killing  in  frontier  communities ; 
yet  the  men  who  are  killed  generally 
deserve  their  fate.  They  are  used  to 
brawling,  are  sure  shots,  and  able  to 
draw  their  weapon  with  marvellous 
quickness.  They  think  nothing  of 
murder,  are  the  terror  of  their  asso- 
ciates, yet  are  very  chary  of  taking  the 
life  of  a  man  of  good  standing,  and 
will  often  weaken,  and  back  down,  at 
once  if  confronted  fearlessly.  Stock- 
men have  united  to  put  down  these 
dangerous  characters,  and  many  locali- 
ties once  infested  by  bad  men  are 
now  perfectly  law-abiding  (Boose- 

Bad  Match  Twist.  Red  (or  car- 
roty) hair  and  black  whiskers. 

Badminton.  1.  A  kind  of  claret- 
cup  :  claret,  sugar,  spice,  soda-water, 
and  ice.  [Invented  at  the  Duke  of 
Beaufort's  seat  of  the  same  name.] 
(1845.)  2.  Blood:  cf.  Claret,  Rosy, 

Bad  Shot    See  Shot 

Bad  Slang.  Faked  up  monstrosi- 
ties, spurious  curiosities :  see  Slang, 
subs.  7. 

Bad  Way.    See  Way. 




Baff.     See  Buff. 

Bag.  1.  The  womb.  Hence  as  verb 
(or  to  be  bagged),  to  become  pregnant, 
to  get  big  with  child  ;  bagged,  lumpy 
(q.v.) :  properly  of  animals  ;  bag-pud- 
ding, pregnancy  :  cf.  Sweet-heart  and 
bag-pudding  (Bay).  (1598.)  2.  The 
stomach :  hence  as  verb,  to  feed,  fill  the 
stomach  ;  bagging,  food  :  spec.  (North) 
food  eaten  between  meals,  or  (Lane.)  a 
substantial  afternoon  repast,  high 
tea;  hence  bagging -time.  (1750.)  3. 
In  pi.,  the  paps,  dugs  (q.v.) :  properly 
of  animals.  ( 1 642. )  4.  In  pi. ,  Buenos 
Ayres  Great  Southern  Railway  Bonds. 
5.  In  pi.,  loosely-fitting  clothes  :  spec, 
trousers  ;  also  bumbags  :  whence  hold- 
ing bags,  breeches  of  loud  pattern  or 
cut,  and  go-to-meeting-bags,  Sunday 
clothes,  one's  best  wear :  see  Kicks. 
Hence  baggy,  stretched  by  wear ;  bag- 
gily,  loosely  ;  to  bag,  to  sag  ;  bag-sleeve, 
a  sleeve  baggy  above,  and  tight  at,  the 
wrist.  (1350.)  6.  (Westminster  School). 
In  sing.,  milk.  7.  The  contents  of  a 
game  bag,  the  result  of  sport ;  said  of 
racing  as  of  fishing,  shooting,  etc.;  and 
alike  of  a  big  game  expedition  as  of  a 
day  in  the  stubble.  As  verb  (or  to 
bring  to  bag),  (1)  to  shoot,  to  kill,  to 
catch.  (1814.)  (2)  To  acquire,  secure  : 
i.e.  to  seize,  catch,  or  steal :  cf.  Nab, 
Cop,  Bone,  etc.  Whence  (old)  bagger,  a 
miser;  bagged,  (1)  got,  and  (2)  quodded 
(q.v.).  (1740.)  As  intj..  Bags  I  or 
Bags  I  \  to  assert  a  claim  to  some 
article  of  privilege :  cf.  Fains  or  Fain 
it  (q.v.),  a  demand  for  a  truce  during 
a  game,  which  is  always  granted : 
Pike  I  (or  Prior  pike)  likewise  serves 
to  lay  claim  to  anything,  or  to  assert 
priority  :  also  bar  \  e.g.  He  wanted  me 
to  do  so  and  so,  but  I  barred  not. 
Phrases.  To  turn  to  bag  and  wallet,  to 
turn  beggar  ;  to  give  one  the  bag  to  hold 
(Hay),  to  slip  off :  also  leave  in  the 
lurch  ;  to  give  the  bag,  (1)  to  leave  with- 
out warning  (Grose),  also  (2)  dismiss, 
and  (3)  cheat  (Webster):  see  Canvas, 
Sack,  and  Wallet ;  to  let  the  cat  out  of 
the  bag,  to  disclose  a  trick  or  secret  (see 
Cat) ;  to  empty  the  bag,  to  tell  all :  also 
lose  an  argument  (Fr.,  vider  le  sac); 
to  put  one  in  a  bag,  to  vanquish,  double 
up  ;  to  put  (or  get)  one's  head  in  a  bag, 
to  drink  a  pot  of  beer  ;  to  take  the  bag, 
to  play  the  hare  in  Hare  and  Hounds ; 
to  have  the  bags,  ( 1 )  to  come  of  age,  and 
(2)  be  flush  of  money  ;  to  bag  the  over 
(see  Jockey).  See  Blue-bag  ;  Carpet- 

bagger ;  Cat ;  Green-bag  ;  Nose-bag  ; 

Bag-and- baggage.  One's  belong- 
ings :  hence  to  dear  (or  turn)  out  bag- 
and-baggage,  to  make  a  good  riddance : 
in  depreciation.  [0.  E.  D. :  Originally 
a  military  phrase  denoting  all  the  pro- 
perty of  an  army  collectively,  and  of  the 
soldiers  individually;  hence  the  phrase, 
orig.  said  to  the  credit  of  an  army  or 
general,  To  march  out  with  bag-and- 
baggage  (Fr.,  vie  et  bagues  sauves) ;  i.e. 
with  all  belongings  saved  ...  to  make 
an  honourable  retreat.]  Bag  -  and- 
baggage  policy,  wholesale  surrender, 
general  scuttling,  peace  at  any  price. 

Bag  and  Bottle.  Provisions,  food 
and  drink  :  cf.  Back  and  belly. 

Bagatelle.  A  trifle,  matter  of  little 
worth  or  consequence.  As  adj.,  trump- 
ery, trifling.  [O.  E.  D. :  Formerly  quite 
naturalised ;  now  scarcely  so.]  (1637. ) 

Baggage.  1.  Luggage,  portable 
property  ;  belongings  (q.v.) :  spec,  the 
equipment  of  an  army.  Hence  bag-and- 
baggage  (q.v.).  Whence  baggage-check, 
a  luggage-ticket,  cloak-room  ticket ; 
baggage-man  (or  master),  a  guard  in 
charge  of  luggage ;  baggage-room,  a 
parcels  office  or  cloak-room  ;  baggage- 
smasher,  a  porter,  station  thief.  ( 1430. ) 
2.  Generic  for  trash:  e.g.  encumbrances, 
rubbish,  dirt,  pus.  Whence  (spec.  post- 
Reformation),  the  rites  and  accessories 
of  Catholic  ritual :  cf.  sense  3.  As  adj., 
trumpery  (also  baggagely),  corrupt, 
vile.  (1538.)  3.  A  good-for-nothing  : 
man  or  woman :  spec,  strumpet  (B.  E. : 
cf.  Fr.  bagasse,  Sp.  bagaza,  Port,  bgasa, 
It.  bagascia).  Also  (4)  a  familiar  ad- 
dress to  a  woman,  esp.  a  young  woman : 
usually  qualified  by  cunning,  saucy, 
pretty,  little,  sly,  etc.  (Grose) :  cf.  Puss, 
Rogue,  Wench,  Drab,  etc.  As  adj., 
worthless  (see  sense  2),  vile  ;  baggagery, 
the  rabble,  the  scum  of  society.  Heavy 
baggage  (Grose  and  Bee),  women  and 

Baggy.  Inflated ;  high-falutin' 
(q.v.).  See  Bag,  subs.  3. 

Bagle.     A  prostitute  (HattiweU). 

Bagman.  1.  A  bag  -  fox,  a  fox 
caught  and  preserved  alive  to  be 
hunted  another  day,  when  it  is  brought 
in  a  bag  and  turned  out  before  the 
hounds.  2.  A  commercial  traveller, 
an  Ambassador  of  commerce  (q.v.)  : 
formerly  the  usual  epithet,  but  now  in 
depreciation.  (1766.) 




Bagnio.  A  brothel,  a  stew  (q.v.). 
[Orig.  a  bathing-house.]  Also  Bainos. 

Bag- of- bones.  An  emaciated 
person  (or  animal)  a  walking  skeleton 
(q.v.),  shapes  (q.v).  Also  (old)  Bed- 
full  of  bones,  and  Bagful  of  skin  and 
bones :  Fr.,  sacdos  (i.e.  sac  d  dos). 

Bag  of  Nails.  Confusion,  topsy- 
turveydom.  [Qy.  from  bacchanals.] 
Also,  He  squints  like  a  bag  of  nails, 
i.e.  his  eyes  are  directed  as  many  ways 
as  the  points  of  a  bag  of  nails  (Grose. ) 

Bag  o'  Moonshine.  Nonsense : 
see  Moonshine. 

Bag  of  Mystery.  A  sausage  (or 
Baveloy),  a  chamber  of  horrors  (q.v.). 

Bag-of- tricks.  Usually  the  whole 
bag  of  tricks,  every  shift  or  expedient. 
[See  fable  of  The  Fox  and  the  Cat] 
Hence  the  bottom  of  the  bag  of  tricks 
(or  the  bag),  a  last  resource,  a  card 
up  one's  sleeve.  (1659.) 

Bagpipe.  A  chatterbox,  a  wind- 
bag (q.v.) :  cf.  He's  like  a  bagpipe, 
he  never  talks  till  his  belly's  full.  As 
adj.,  empty-headed,  gutless  (q.v.) ;  and 
as  verb,  to  gas  (q.v.). 

Bag- pud  ding.  A  clown:  cf.  Jack- 
pudding  :  see  Bag,  subs.  1. 

Bag-wig.  An  eighteenth  century 
wig  ;  the  back  hair  was  enclosed  in  an 
ornamental  bag  ;  hence  bag  -  wigged, 
wearing  a  bag- wig.  (1760.) 

Ba-ha.     Bronchitis. 

Bah.  An  exclamation  of  contempt 
or  disgust:  Fr.,  bah  !  (1600.) 

Bail.     Straw-bail   (or    straw-shoes). 

1.  Professional  bail :  see  Straw.     Also 
(2)  insufficient  bail  (modern).     To  give 
(or  take)  leg  bail,  to  escape,  be  indebted 
to  one's  legs  for  safety  :  see  Bunk.  Also 
to  take  leg-bail  and  give  land-security. 

Bail  up  (or  Bale  up).  (1)  To  se- 
cure the  head  of  a  cow  in  a  bail  for 
milking.  (2)  By  transference,  to  stop 
travellers  in  the  bush,  used  of  bush- 
rangers. ...  It  means  generally  to 
stop.  Like  Stick  up  (q.v.),  it  is  often 
used  humorously  of  a  demand  for  sub- 
scriptions, etc.  (1844.) 

Bain.     See  Bagnio. 

Bairn's- bed.     The  womb.     (1549.) 

Bait.      1.    Anger,    a    wax    (q.v.). 

2.  A  fee,  a  refresher  (q.v.).     (1603.) 
Welsh  (or  Scotch)  bait,  a  rest  given  to 
a  horse  at  the  top  of  a  hill,  a  breather 
(q.v.).     (1662.) 

Baiting-stock.  A  laughing-stock. 

Bait  land.  An  old  word,  formerly 
used  to  signify  a  port  where  refresh- 
ments could  be  procured.  (1725.) 

Bake  (Winchester).  To  rest,  to  sit 
(or  lie)  at  ease.  Hence  baker,  (1)  a 
cushion,  and  (2)  anything  to  sit  (or 
kneel)  upon,  as  a  blotting- book,  etc. 
[Bakers  were  of  two  kinds :  that  used 
in  College  was  large,  oblong  and 
green  ;  whilst  the  Commoners'  baker 
was  thin,  narrow,  much  smaller,  and 
red.]  Whence  baker-layer  (obs.),  a 
Junior  who  carried  a  Prefect's  green 
baker  in  and  out  of  Hall  at  meal-times. 
Also  bakester  (obs.),  a  sluggard  ;  bak- 
ing-leave (obs.),  (1)  permission  to  bake 
(spec,  on  a  kind  of  sofa)  in  a  study  in 
Commoners  or  in  a  Scob-place  (q.v.) 
in  College,  and  (2)  leave  to  sit  in 
another's  toys  (q.v.) ;  baking-place, 
any  place  in  which  to  bake,  or  in 
connection  with  which  baking  leave 
was  given.  [North,  dial.  :  beek  (or 
beak),  to  expose  oneself  to  the  genial 
warmth  of  sun,  fire,  etc.,  to  bask. 
Jamieson  :  beik,  beke,  beek,  to  bask.] 
(1230.)  Phrases  :  To  bake  one's  bread, 
to  punish  (q.v.),  to  do  for  (q.v.) ;  As 
they  brew,  so  let  them  bake  (prov. 
saying),  Let  them  go  on  as  they  have 
begun ;  I  must  go  and  bake  some  bread 
(a  jocular  excuse  for  departure)  ( 1 380. ) 

Baked.  Collapsed,  exhausted,  done 
up  ;  e.g.  toward  tne  end  of  the  course 
the  crew  were  regularly  baked.  Half- 
(or  dough-)  baked,  inconclusive,  imper- 
fect Also  dull-witted,  soft  (q.v.): 
see  Half-baked.  (1502.) 

Baker.  1.  Bakers,  against  whom 
severe  penalties  for  impurity  of  bread 
or  shortness  of  weight  were  enacted 
from  very  early  times,  have  been  the 
subject  of  much  colloquial  sarcasm. 
'  I  feare  we  parte  not  y6et,  Quoth  the 
baker  to  the  pylorie.'  (1562.)  They 
say  the  owl  was  a  baker's  daughter. 
(1602.)  Three  dear  years  will  raises 
baker's  daughter  to  a  portion  ;  'Tis 
not  the  smallness  of  the  bread,  but  the 
knavery  of  the  baker ;  Take  all,  and 

ry  the  baker  ;  Pull  devil,  pull  baker. 
A  loafer.  [The  word  is  generally 
atthbutedto  Baron  de  MandatGrancey, 
who,  in  Cowboys  and  Colonels,  inno- 
cently translated  the  word  loafer  as 
baker.]  To  spett  baker,  to  attempt  a 
difficult  task.  [In  old  spelling  booka 
Baker  was  often  the  first  word  of 




two  syllables  to  which  a  child  came 
when  learning  to  spell.] 

Baker-kneed  (or  Baker-legged). 
Knock-kneed,  bow-legged,  effeminate 
(Grose).  (1607.) 

Baker's  Dozen  (or  Bargain).  1. 
Thirteen  counted  as  twelve :  sometimes 
fourteen  (Grose  and  Bee).  Hence  2.  good 
measure  :  e.g.  To  give  a  man  a  baker's 
dozen,  to  trounce  him  well.  Also 
Brown-dozen  (q.v.),  DeviPs-dozen  (cf. 
Baker  1,  and  Fr.,  boulanger,  devil), 
and  Round-dozen  (see  Round).  [Bakers 
•were  (and  are)  liable  to  heavy  penalties 
for  deficiency  in  the  weights  of  loaves  : 
these  were  fixed  for  every  price  from 
eighteenpence  down  to  twopence,  but 
penny  loaves  or  rolls  were  not  specified 
in  the  statute.  They,  therefore,  to  be 
on  the  safe  side,  gave,  for  a  dozen  of 
bread,  an  additional  loaf,  known  as 
inbread.  A  similar  custom  was  for- 
merly observed  with  regard  to  coal, 
and  publishers  nowadays  reckon  thir- 
teen copies  of  a  book  as  twelve. 

Baker's  Light  Bobs.  The  10th 

Bakes.  1.  A  schoolboy.  2.  An  ori- 
ginal stake :  chiefly  schoolboys':  e.g. 
When  I  get  my  bakes  back  I  shall 
stop  playing.  [Barttett  :  in  reference 
possibly  to  a  baker  not  always  getting 
his  bake  safely  out  of  the  oven.] 

Bakester,  Baking-leave,  Baking- 
place,  etc.  See  Bake. 

Balaam.  Miscellaneous  paragraphs 
for  filling  up  a  column  of  type,  padding 
(q.v.) ;  applied  either  to  MS.  copy  or 
stereo.  Hence  Balaam-box  (or  -basket), 
(1)  a  receptacle  for  such  matter,  and  (2) 
a  waste  -  paper  basket.  [Webster  :  a 
cant  term  ;  popularised  by  BlackwoocTa 
Mag.  See  Numbers  xxii.  30.]  (1822.) 

Balaclava- day.  A  soldier's  pay 
day.  [Balaclava  in  1854-6  was  a  base 
of  supply  for  English  troops  :  as  pay 
was  drawn,  the  men  went  down  to 
make  their  purchases.] 

Balance.  The  remainder,  the  rest : 
cf.  lave  (Scots)  and  shank  (as  in  the 
shank  of  the  evening).  ( 1 846. ) 

Balbus.  A  Latin  prose  composition. 
[From  the  frequency  with  which  Balbus 
is  mentioned  in  Arnold's  Latin  Prose 

Baldcoot.  1.  A  term  of  contempt: 
cf.  Baldhead.  [The  frontal  plate  of 
the  coot  is  destitute  of  feathers.] 
Hence  bald  as  a.  coot,  as  bald  as  may  be. 

[Tyndale,  Works  (1530),  ii.  224,  s.v.]. 
2.  A  young  man  who  parts  with  his 
blunt  freely  at  gambling,  and  is  rooked; 
older  persons  also  stay  and  get  plucked 
sometimes,  until  they  have  not  a 
feather  to  fly  with.  Such  men,  after 
the  plucking,  become  bald-coots  (Bee). 

Balderdash.  (1)  Froth  or  frothy 
liquid ;  (2)  a  jumble  of  liquors  (B.  E. 
and  Grose) :  e.g.  brandy  (or  milk)  and 
beer,  milk  and  rum,  etc.  :  also  as  verb, 
to  dash  with  another  liquid,  and 
hence  to  adulterate  (Grose) ;  (3)  a 
jumble  of  words,  nonsense,  trash  ;  and 
(4)  lewd  conversation  (Grose),  obscen- 
ity, scurrility.  [0.  E.  D.  :  From  the 
evidence  at  present  the  inference  is 
that  the  current  sense  was  transferred 
....  with  the  notion  of  frothy  talk. 
Century :  Of  obscure  origin,  apparently 
dial,  or  slang.]  (1598.) 

Bald -face.  New  whisky:  war- 
ranted to  kill  at  forty  rods.  Boldfaced, 
neat  (q.v.). 

Bald-faced  Shirt.  A  white  shirt: 
cf.  Boiled  shirt. 

Bald-faced  Stag.  A  bald-headed 
man,  bladder  of  lard. 

Baldhead  (or  Pate).  A  term  of 
contempt :  also  Baldy.  [Of  Biblical 
origin.]  Hence  baltititde,  a  state  of 
baldness  ;  his  balditude,  a  mock  title  ; 
and  baldheaded-row,  the  first  row  of 
stalls  at  theatres,  especially  at  leg- 
shops  (q.v.).  (1535.) 

Baldheaded.  Eagerly ;  with  might 
and  main.  [Bartlett :  as  when  one 
rushes  out  without  his  hat.  (1848.) 
To  snatch  baldheaded,  to  defeat  a  person 
in  a  street  fight. 

Baldober  (or  Baldower).  A 
leader,  a  spokesman  [Ger.]. 

Bald-rib.  A  lean  person,  a  walk- 
ing-skeleton (q.v.).  (1621.) 

Bal  due  turn.  Nonsense,  rubbish  : 
as  adj.,  affected,  trashy.  (1577.) 

Bal  four's  Maiden.  A  covered  bat- 
tering-ram :  used  by  the  Royal  Irish 
Constabularly  in  carrying  out  evictions 
in  Ireland  (1888-89.) 

Ball.  1.  The  head:  also  Ball  in 
the  hood,  Billiard-ball,  etc.  (1300.) 
2.  A  ration,  food  or  drink.  3.  (Win- 
chester) in  pi.,  a  Junior  hi  College : 
his  duty  is  to  collect  footballs  from 
lockers  in  school  and  take  them  through 
to  the  Ball-keeper  in  Commoners  to  be 
blown  or  repaired,  and  who,  for  service 
in  looking  after  cricket  and  footballs, 
is  exempted  from  kicking  in  (q.v.)  and 




watching  out  (q.v.).  Phrases.  To 
catch  (or  take)  the  ball  before  the  bound,to 
uiticipate  ;  to  have  the  ball  at  one's  foot 
(or  before  one),  to  have  in  one's  power 
(or  at  one's  finger-ends) ;  to  open  the 
ball,  to  lead  off,  make  a  start ;  to  keep 
the  ball  rolling  (or  keep  up  the  ball),  to 
prevent  a  matter  flagging  or  hanging 
fire ;  to  take  up  the  bau,  to  take  one's 
turn :  whence  the  ball's  with  you, 
you're  next  (1589.)  Call  the  ball 
(Stonyhurst),  the  Foul !  of  Associa- 
tion football.  Three  brass  (or  golden) 
balls  :  see  Three  Balls. 

Ballad- basket.  A  street  singer  : 
see  Street  pitcher :  Fr.,  braillard. 

Ballad-monger.  A  ballad-maker : 
in  contempt :  hence  Ballad- mongering. 

Ballahou.  A  term  of  derision 
applied  to  an  ill-conditioned  slovenly 
ship  (Century) ;  a  West  Indian  clip- 
per schooner :  apparently  she  may  also 
be  a  brig  to  judge  from  The  Cruise  of 
the  Midge  (Clark  Russell). 

Ballambangjang.  The  Straits  of 
BaUambangjang,  though  unnoticed  by 
geographers,  are  frequently  mentioned 
in  sailors'  yarns  as  being  so  nanrow.and 
the  rocks  on  each  side  so  crowded  with 
trees  inhabited  by  monkeys,  that  the 
ship's  yards  cannot  be  squared,  on  ac- 
count of  the  monkeys'  tails  getting 
jammed  into,  and  choking  up,  the 
brace  blocks  (Hotten). 

Ballast.  Money  :  generic  :  see 
Rhino.  Hence  wett-baUasted,  rich. 

Ball  Face.  A  white  man  [Bartlett  : 
applied  at  Salem,  Mass.,  1810-1820]. 

Ball-keeper.     See  Ball,  subs. 

Ball  of  Fire.  A  glass  of  cheap 
brandy  (Grose.) 

Ball  of  Honour.  See  Beggar's 

Ball  of  Wax.  A  snob,  or  shoe- 

Balloon.  To  brag,  to  gas  (q.v.). 
Also  baUoonacy  (cf.  lunacy),  a  mania 
for  ballooning ;  baUoonatic  (cf.  lunatic), 
balloon  -  mad  ;  ballooning,  inflating 
prices  by  fictitious  means,  and  as  adj., 
high  falutin'  (q.v.).  (1826.) 

Ballot-box  Stuffing.  Tampering 
with  election  returns  ;  a  box  is  con- 
structed with  false  bottom  and  com- 
partments so  as  to  permit  spurious  bal- 
lots to  be  introduced  by  the  teller  in 
charge.  The  most  outrageous  frauds 
have  been  committed  by  this  means 

Ball's-bull.  Like  BalT*  bull,  said 
of  a  person  with  no  ear  for  music  : 
Ball's  bull  had  so  little  that  he  kicked 
the  fiddler  over  the  bridge  (HalliweU). 

Bally.  A  generic  intensive  :  very, 
great,  excessive.  [A  comparatively  re- 
cent coinage,  it  is  said,  of  The  Sporting 
Times  from  ballyhooly.] 

Ballyhack.  Go  to  hollyhock,  Get 

Ballyrag.    See  Bullyrag. 

Balm.     A  lie  (Duncombe). 

Balmy.  The  balmy,  sleep :  as  adj., 
sleepy:  cf.  balmy  slumbers  (Shake- 
speare) and  balmy  sleep  ( Young).  To 
have  a  doze  (or  wink)  of  the  balmy,  to 
go  to  sleep :  see  Bedfordshire  and 

Balsam.  Generic  for  money  (Grose 
and  Bee) :  see  Rhino. 

Bam  (or  Bamboozle).  A  hoax, 
cheat :  as  verb  (bamboo,  boozle,  or  6am- 
booze),  to  victimize,  outwit,  mystify 
or  deceive  (Grose) :  also  (HalliweU)  to 
threaten :  cf.  hum  from  humbug, 
[Swift  (1710),  Toiler,  Refinements  of 
Twenty  Years  Past :  Certain  words 
such  as  banter,  bamboozle  .  .  .  now 
struggling  for  the  vogue ;  Johnson 
(1755) :  a  cant  word  ;  Boucher  (1833) : 
has  long  .  .  .  had  a  place  in  the  gypsy 
or  canting  dictionaries ;  0.  E.  D.  : 
probably  of  cant  origin ;  Century : 
[a  slang  word  of  no  definite  origin.] 
Whence  numerous  combinations,  col- 
loquialisms and  phrases :  e.g.  to  bam- 
boozle away,  to  get  rid  of  speciously; 
to  bamboozle  into,  to  persuade  artfully  ; 
to  bamboozle  out  of,  to  obtain  by  trick ; 
bamboozled,  mystified,  tricked  ;  bam- 
boozlement,  tricky  deception ;  bam- 
boozler,  a  mystifier  ;  bambost,  deceptive 
humbug  ;  to  bamblustercate,  to  bluster, 
embarrass,  or  confuse  :  cf.  conglomer- 
ate and  comflogisticate  ;  bamsquabbled 
(or  &itm*gtta6Wed),discomfited,defeated 
squelched.  See  Banter.  (1703.) 

Banaghan.  He  beats  Banaghan, 
an  Irish  saying  of  one  who  tells 
travellers'  tales.  [Banaghan  (Grose) 
was  a  minstrel  famous  for  dealing  in 
the  marvellous.] 

Banagher.     To  bang. 

Bananaland,  Bananalander. 
Queensland,  a  native  of  Queensland. 
A  large  portion  of  Queensland  lies 
within  the  tropics  to  which  the  banana 
(Musa  sapientum)  is  indigenous.] 

Banbury.  The  inhabitants  of  this 
Oxfordshire  town  (now  noted  for  its 




cakes)  seem  to  have  been  the  subjects 
of  ridicule  and  sarcasm  from  very  early 
times  ;  chiefly  on  account  of  their  zeal 
for  the  Puritan  cause.  Thus  Banbury- 
man  (-blood  or  -saint),  a  hypocrite  (cf. 
popular  saying  A  Banbury  man  will 
hang  his  cat  on  Monday  for  catching 
mice  on  Sunday) ;  Banbury  -  wife,  a 
whore  ;  Banbury  -  story  (or  Banbury 
tale  of  a  cock-and-a-butt),  an  extremely 
improbable  yarn  (Grose),  silly  chat 
(B.  E.) ;  Banbury-gloss,  a  specious 
reading  ;  Banbury-vapours,  the  stock- 
in-trade  of  a  Puritan  agitator  ;  Ban- 
bury-cheese,  the  thinnest  of  poor  cheese 
(Hey wood  :  I  never  saw  Banbury 
cheese  thick  enough) :  hence  a  term 
of  contempt.  Also  proverbs  (Howett, 
1660) :  Like  Banbury  tinkers,  who  in 
stopping  one  hole  make  two  ;  As  wise 
as  the  mayor  of  Banbury,  who  would 
prove  that  Henry  III.  was  before 
Henry  II.  (1535.) 

Banco.  (Charterhouse). — Evening 
preparation  at  House,  under  the 
superintendence  of  a  monitor ;  the 
Winchester  toy  -  time  (q.v.).  [See 
Farmer  :  Public  School  Word  Book.'] 

Banco-steerer.  See  Bunco- 

Band.  Our  Lady's  bands,  accouche- 
ment, confinement  (an  old  abstract 
meaning.)  (1495.)  See  Banded. 

Bandanna.  Orig.  a  silk  handker- 
chief with  white,  yellow,  or  other 
coloured  spots  on  a  dark  ground. 
Also  (loosely)  a  handkerchief  of  any 
kind  :  see  Wipe.  (1752.) 

Bandbox  (or  Bandboxical).  (1) 
Precisely  neat,  fussy,  finical ;  and  (2) 
frail  or  small  (as  is  a  bandbox) :  e.g.  a 
bandbox  thing  ;  She's  just  come  out 
of  a  bandbox  (or  glass  case) ;  You 
ought  to  be  put  in  a  bandbox  (of  any- 
one over  particular).  See  Bandog. 

Banded.  Hungry ;  also  to  wear 
the  bands  (Grose  and  Vaux). 

Bandero.  Widows'  weeds.  [Cf. 
Littrt/ :  bandeau,  anciennement,  coiffure 
des  veuves  ;  Kennett :  bandore  a  widow's 
veil,  and  B.  E.,  a  widow's  mourning 
Peak ;  Eng.,  banderol,  a  streamer 
carried  on  the  shaft  of  a  lance  near 
the  head.] 

Bandog.  1.  A  bailiff,  or  his 
Follower,  a  Sergeant,  or  his  Yeo- 
man (B.  E.  and  Cfrose).  [Properly 
a  bound  -  dog,  because  ferocious ; 
hence  a  mastiff  or  bloodhound.]  To 

speak  like  a  bandog  (or  bandog  and 
bedlam),  to  rave,  to  bluster.  (1600.) 
2.  A  bandbox  (Grose). 

B.  andS.  Brandy  and  Soda.  (1868.) 

Bandy.     See  Bender. 

Bandy-legged.  Crooked  (B.  E.) 
[The  earliest  quot.  in  0.  E.  D.  is  dated 
1787  ;  but  the  word  did  not  come  into 
general  use  until  the  second  quarter  of 
the  eighteenth  century.] 

Bang.  1.  Generic  for  energy  and 
dash :  a  blow,  thump,  sudden  noise, 
go  (q.v.).  As  verb,  to  drub  (B.  E. 
and  Grose),  strike,  explode,  or  shut 
with  violence.  Hence  to  bang  it  out 
(or  about),  to  come  to  blows  (or  fisti- 
cuffs), fight  it  out ;  to  bang  (slam)  a 
door  ;  to  bang  (fire)  a  gun  ;  to  bang 
(play  loudly)  a  piano  ;  to  bang  into 
one's  head,  to  convince  by  force  ;  to 
bang  against,  to  bump  (or  thump) ; 
to  bang  away  at,  to  make  a  violent  and 
continuous  noise  ;  to  bang  out,  to  go 
with  a  flourish  ;  to  bang  up,  to  sud- 
denly throw  oneself  upon,  to  spring 
up;  bang  (or  bang  off),  at  once,  abruptly; 
e.g.  bang  went  saxpence  ;  tn  a  bang,  in 
a  hurry ;  bang  out,  completely ;  banging, 
violent,  noisy,  and  as  subs,  a  drubbing : 
see  Wipe.  2.  A  fringe  of  hair  (usually 
curled  or  frizzed)  cut  squarely  across 
the  forehead.  As  verb,  to  cut  (or 
wear)  the  hair  in  this  fashion :  also 
bang  tail,  bang-tailed,  and  bang-tail 
muster  (of  horses,  cattle,  etc.)  Every 
third  or  fourth  year  on  a  cattle 
station,  they  have  what  is  called  a 
bang  tail  muster  ;  that  is  to  say,  all  the 
cattle  are  brought  into  the  yards,  and 
have  the  long  hairs  at  the  end  of  the 
tail  cut  off  square,  with  knives  or 
sheep-shears  :  the  object  of  it  is  ...  to 
find  out  the  actual  number  of  cattle  on 
the  run,  to  compare  with  the  number 
entered  on  the  station  books  (Tyr- 
whitt).  As  verb  (1)  to  excel,  surpass, 
beat :  cf.  (Irish)  that  bangs  Bannag- 
her  and  Bannagher  bangs  the  world  ; 
(2)  to  outwit,  puzzle,  deceive :  banging 
great,  large,  thumping  (q.v.) :  e.g.  a 
banging  boy,  wench,  lie,  etc.  ;  banger, 
anything  exceptional ;  bang-up,  fine, 
first-rate,  of  the  best  (the  root  idea  is 
completeness  combined  with  energy 
and  dash) ;  occasionally  (as  verb),  to 
smarten  up ;  (3)  to  offer  stock  loudly 
with  the  intention  of  lowering  the 
price  (Stock  Exchange).  To  be  banged 
up  to  the  eyes,  to  be  drunk :  see  Screwed 
to  bang  (or  beat)  the  hoof  :  see  Hoof. 




Bang- beggar.  1.  A  stout  cudgel.  2. 
A  constable  or  beadle.  3.  A  vagabond : 
^  term  of  reproach. 

Banger.  A  heavy  cane,  a  bludgeon : 
one  of  the  Yale  vocables  (Hall).  The 
Bangert,  the  First  Life  Guards. 

Bang- pitcher.  A  tippler:  see  Lush- 
Ington.  Hence  to  bang  the  pitcher, 
to  guzzle  :  see  Lush. 

Bangs  ter.  1.  A  bully,  braggart.  As 
adj.  turbulent.  Bangstry,  violence. 

2.  A  victor,  winner :   cf.   bang,  verb. 

3.  A  wanton. 

Bangstraw.  A  thresher:  also  ap- 
plied to  all  servants  of  a  farmer 

Bang- tail.    See  Bang. 

B  a  n  g  y  (Winchester  College). 
Brown  sugar.  As  adj.,  brown.  Hence 
bangy  bags  (or  6on0te£),brown-coloured 
trousers :  the  strong  objection  to 
these  in  former  times  probably  arose 
from  Tony  Lumpkin  coming  to  school 
in  corduroys  (Wrench).  Bangy -gate 
(1)  a  brown  gate  leading  from  Grass 
Court  to  Sick  House  Meads ;  and  (2) 
a  gate  by  Racquet  Court  into  Kings- 
gate  Street. 

Banian  (or  Banyan) -day.  One 
day  (originally  two)  in  the  week  on 
which,  in  the  Royal  Navy,  meat  was 
withheld  from  the  crews ;  hence,  a  bad 
day,  a  disagreeable  day :  in  reference 
to  the  Banian's  abstinence  from  flesh. 

Banister.  A  balustrade :  a  cor- 
ruption of  baluster  condemned  by 
Nicholson  as  improper,  by  Stuart 
and  Gwilt  (Diet.  Archit.  1830)  as  vul- 
gar, the  term  had  already  taken 
literary  rank,  and  has  now  acquired 
general  acceptance. 

Banjo.  A  bed-pan,  fiddle  (q.v.),  slip- 
per (q.v.). 

Bank.  1.  A  lump  sum,  the  total 
amount  possessed :  e.g.  How's  the 
bank  ?  Not  very  strong,  about 
one  and  a  buck.  As  verb,  (1)  to  steal, 
make  sure  of :  e.g.  Bank  the  rags, 
Take  the  notes  ;  (2)  to  place  in  safety  ; 
and  (3)  to  share  the  booty,  to  nap  the 
regulars  (q.v.).  2.  Spec.  The  Bank, 
i.e.  Millbank  Prison;  the  site  is  now 
(1903)  occupied  by  an  Art  Gallery. 

Banker.  1.  A  horse,  good  at 
jumping  on  and  off  banks  too  high  to 
be  cleared.  2.  In  pi.,  clumsy  boots 
and  shoes,  beetle-crushers  (q.v.):  see 

Bankrupt -cart.  A  one-horse 
chaise  —  of  a  Sunday  (Bcc) :  said  to 

be  so  called  by  a  Lord  Chief  Justice 
through  their  being  so  frequently  used 
on  Sunday  jaunts  by  extravagant 
shopkeepers  and  tradesmen  (Grose). 

Bankruptcy  List  To  be  put  on  the 
bankruptcy  lift,  to  be  completely 
knocked  out  of  time  (Grose). 

Bank-shaving.  Usury :  before  banks 
were  regulated  by  Act  of  Congress,  the 
least  reputable  purchased  notes  of 
hand  and  similar  documents  at  enor- 
mously usurious  rates  of  discount : 
he  who  thus  raised  the  wind  was  said 
to  get  his  paper  shaved. 

Bankside-lady  (or  wench).  In 
15th  to  17th  c.  a  harlot:  in  old  London 
the  neighbourhood  of  the  theatres  was 

— notably  Bank-side,  Southwark,  and 
in  later  days,  Covent  Garden  and 
Drury  Lane. 

Bank-sneak.     A  bank  thief  (q.v.). 

Banner.  Money  paid  for  board  and 
lodging  :  the  origin  of  the  term  is  un- 

Bannister.  A  traveller  in  distress  : 
the  term  occurs  in  the  ancient  accounts 
of  the  parish  of  Chudleigh,  co.  Devon. 

Ban  que  t.  Running  banquet,  a  snack, 
slight  repast  between  meals ;  running 
banquet  between  beadles,  a  whipping. 

Banquet-beagle.  A  glutton,  smell- 
feast  (q.v.). 

Banter.  Nonsense,  raillery, 
pleasantry,  a  jest  or  matter  of  jest. 
As  verb,  with  numerous  derivatives : 
e.g.  banter er,  banter ee,  bantering,  ban- 
tery,  etc.  Swift  says  the  word  was  First 
borrowed  from  the  bullies  in  White 
Friars,  then  it  fell  among  the  foot- 
men, and  at  last  retired  to  the  pedants 
(Tale  of  a  Tub,  1710;  of  unknown 
etymology  :  it  is  doubtful  whether  the 
verb  or  the  sb.  was  the  earlier :  ex- 
isting evidence  is  in  favour  of  the  verb : 
the  sb.  wad  treated  as  slang  in  1688 
(O.  E.  D.).  2.  A  challenge  to  a  race, 
shooting-match,  etc.  (Bartlett,  1484). 
Also  as  verb. 

Bant.  Orig.  to  follow  the  dietary 
prescribed  by  Dr.  Banting  for  corp- 
ulence ;  hence  to  diet  oneself,  train. 

Bantling.  A  bastard  :  cf.  brat ; 
hence  (modern),  child  (B.  E.,  Grose) : 
spec,  a  young  or  undersized  child ; 
usually  in  depreciation :  with  great 
probability,  a  corruption  of  Ger. 
oanlding,  bastard,  from  bank,  bench, 
i.e.  a  child  begotten  on  a  bench  and 
not  in  the  marriage-bed  (AfaAn). 




Banty.     Saucy,  impudent. 

Banyan- day.     See  Banian-day. 

Baptised.  Mixed  with  water, 
christened  (q.v.)  (Grose,  Bee) :  spec, 
of  spirits  when  not  taken  neat  (q.v.) : 
Fr.,  chretien,  baptist. 

Baptist.  A  pickpocket  caught  and 
ducked  (Bee). 

Bar.  As  verb  and  preposition  bar, 
of  respectable  lineage,  is  now  more  or 
lees  colloquial.  1.  Except,  excluding, 
save,  but  for :  mostly  used  in  racing, 
e.g.  four  to  one  bar  one,  four  to  one 
on  the  field,  that  is  on  all  the  horses 
entered  excepting  only  the  favourite. 
2.  To  exclude  from  consideration,  take 
exception  to.  3.  To  stop,  cease.  4.  To 
frequent  drinking-bars,  to  tipple.  To 
bar  too  much,  to  get  drunk :  see 

Barabbas.  A  publisher.  [Usually, 
but  erroneously,  attributed  to  Lord 
Byron,  who  is  said  to  have  applied  it 
to  John  Murray  the  elder,  having  sent 
him  a  Bible  in  which  the  famous  pas- 
sage in  John  xviii.,  40,  was  altered 
to  Now  Barabbas  was  a  publisher. 
The  reigning  John  Murray  (1904) 
writes  :  I  have  it  on  the  authority  of 
my  father,  who  was  alive  during  all 
the  time  of  his  father's  dealings  with 
Byron,  that  there  is  not  a  word  of 
truth  in  any  detail  of  the  story.  The 
joke  was  in  reality  made  by  Thomas 
Campbell  in  regard  to  another  pub- 
lisher, the  Mr  Longman  of  his  day]. 

Baragan-tailor.  A  rough-working 

Barathrum.  An  extortioner,  a  glut- 

Barb.  To  shave,  trim  the  beard  : 
also  to  barber :  cf.  Butch.  2.  To  clip 
gold,  sweat  (q.v.) :  also  applied  to 
clipping  wool,  cloth,  etc. 

Barbadoes.  To  transport  (as  a  con- 
vict) :  Barbadoes  was  formerly  a  penal 

Barbar.  (Durham  School).  A  can- 
didate for  scholarship  hailing  from 
another  school :  i.e.  barbar-i&a, 

Barber.  1.  A  thick  fagot  or  bough  : 
one  was  included  in  each  bundle  of  fire- 
wood. 2.  Any  large  piece  of  timber.  3. 
A  generic  reproach :  thus,  barber' s -block 
(cleric,  or  barber-monger),  a  fop,  one 
who  spends  much  time  in  barbers' 
shops ;  spec,  (mechanics)  an  over- 
dressed shopman  or  clerk ;  barber's 
cat,  a  weak,  sickly-looking  person ; 

barber's  -  chair,  a  strumpet  (because 
common  to  all  comers) ;  barber' s-music, 
rough  music.  Also  (proverbial)  Nos- 
trils wider  than  barbers'  basins.  As 
verb,  to  work  off  an  imposition  by 
deputy  :  also  barberise  :  tradition  says 
that  a  learned  barber,  was  at  one 
time  employed  as  a  scapegoat  in 
working  off  this  species  of  punish- 
ment. 3.  See  Barb  and  barberise. 
That's  the  barber,  that's  well  done  ; 
It's  all  O.K.  (q.v.) :  a  street  catch- 
phrase  about  the  year  1760  (Grose). 

Barberize.  To  shave,  cut  hair,  play 
the  barber  :  cf.  Barb. 

Barber's-knock.  A  double  knock : 
the  first  hard,  and  the  second  soft  as  if 
by  accident. 

Bard.  A  term  of  contempt :  in 
early  Lowland  Scotch  used  for  a 
strolling  musician  or  minstrel,  into 
which  the  Celtic  bard  had  degenerated, 
and  against  whom  many  laws  were 
enacted;  in  16th  cent.,  a  term  of  con- 
tempt, but  idealised  by  Scott  to  mean 
an  epic  poet,  a  singer. 

Bar' d  cater  tra.  False  dice:  so 
constructed  that  the  quatre  and  trois 
were  seldom  cast :  cf.  fullams,  high- 
men,  low-men,  etc. 

Bare-board.  To  go  on  bare-board,  to 
play  without  putting  down  the  stake. 

Bare-bones.  A  lean  person,  walk- 
ing skeleton,  rack  of  bones  :  also  (in 
Commonwealth  times)  a  term  of  con- 

Bare-footed.  Variously  applied : 
e.g.  to  take  tea  barefooted,  to  dispense 
with  sugar  and  milk  ;  to  take  a  dram 
barefooted,  to  drink  spirits  neat  (q.v.), 
or  naked  (q.v.) ;  barefooted  on  the  top 
of  the  head,  bald. 

Bargain.  Subs.  (old).  —  A  catch, 
sell  (q.v.).  Hence,  to  sell  a  bargain, 
to  humbug,  hoax,  banter :  a  species  of 
low  wit,  of  ancient  usage,  but  much  in 
vogue  about  the  latter  end  of  the  reign 
of  Queen  Anne.  Swift  remarks  that, 
The  maids  of  honour  often  amused 
themselves  with  it.  Dutch  (or  wet) 
bargain,  a  deal  clinched  by  a  drink ; 
Dutch-bargain  also  means  a  deal  the 
advantage  of  which  is  all  on  one  side. 
Also  in  various  proverbial  phrases  : 
thus,  To  make  the  best  of  a  bad 
bargain  (Hay) ;  At  a  great  bargain 
make  a  pause  ;  More  words  than  one 
go  to  a  bargain  ;  A  good  bargain  is  a 
pick-purse  (i.e.  tempts  people  to  buy 
what  they  need  not). 




Barge.  1.  A  fat,  heavy  person  ;  one 
broad  in  the  beam  :  in  contempt.  2. 
(Printers)  (a)  A  case  unduly  loaded 
with  stamps  not  in  frequent  request 
with  a  shortness  of  those  most  in  use. 
Also  (b)  a  card  or  small  box  for  spaces : 
used  while  correcting  away  from  case. 
3.  (Sherborne  School).  Small  cricket : 
played  against  a  wall  with  a  stump 
for  bat.  As  verb,  to  abuse,  slang  ; 
cf.  Bullyrag.  Also  (Charterhouse  and 
Uppingham)  to  hustle,  mob  up,  brick. 

Bargee.  A  barge- man  or  barger 
(the  dictionary  terms):  Cambridge 
wit  (Grose). 

Barge-pole  (Winchester).  A  large 
stick  of  thick  bough,  of  which  there 
was  one  in  each  fagot :  also  any  large 

Eiece  of  wood  :   cf.  Barber.     Not  fit  to 
5  touched  with  the  end  of  a  barge-pole 
(a  pair  of  tongs,  etc.),  unapproachable 
through  filth,  disease,  prejudice,  or  the 

Bark.  1.  A  native  of  Ireland :  hence 
Barkshire,  Ireland.  2.  The  skin.  As 
verb,  to  abrade  (scrape,  or  rub  off) 
the  skin,  bruise.  3.  A  cough :  spec, 
when  persistent  and  hacking:  per- 
sons thus  troubled  are  said  to  Have 
been  to  Barking  Creek  (or  Barkshire). 
As  verb,  to  cough  incessantly.  Barker, 
one  with  a  churchyard  cough  (q.v.)  or 
notice  to  quit  (q.v.).  4.  See  Barker, 
Phrases:  To  bark  against  (or  at)  the 
moon  (see  Barker) ;  to  take  the  bark  off, 
to  reduce  in  value,  rub  the  gilt  off ; 
the.  word  with  the  bark  on  it,  without 
circumlocution,  no  mincing  matters, 
the  straight -tip  (q.v.);  between  the 
bark  and  the  wood  (or  tree)  (of  a  well- 
adjusted  bargain  where  neither  party 
has  the  advantage  (BaUiweU) ;  to  bark 
through  the  fence,  to  take  advantage 
of  adventitious  shelter  or  protection 
to  say  or  do  that  which  would  other- 
wise entail  unpleasant  consequences  ; 
to  bark  up  the  wrong  tree,  to  blunder,  to 
mistake  one's  object  or  the  right  course 
to  pursue,  to  get  the  wrong  sow  by  the 
ear ;  to  go  between  bark  and  tree,  to 
meddle  :  spec,  in  family  matters  ;  the 
bark  is  worse  than  the  btle  (of  one  who 
threatens  but  fails  to  do  as  he  vows). 

Barker.  1.  A  salesman's  servant 
that  walks  before  the  shop,  and  cries, 
Cloaks,  Coate,  or  Gowns,  what  d'ye 
lack,  sir  T  (B.  E.).  2.  A  tout  of  any 
description.  Fr.,  aboyeur.  3.  A  boy 
attending  a  drover,  helping  him  to 
drive  his  sheep  by  means  of  imitating 

the  bark  of  a  dog.  4.  A  noisy  (or 
assertive)  disputant,  spouting  dema- 
gogue, querulous  fault  -  finder.  As 
verb,  to  clamour,  menace,  abuse.  5. 
(Univ.),  a  big  swell  (i.e.  one  assert- 
ing himself  or  putting  on  side  (q.v.) 
6.  (American)  A  noisy  coward,  blatant 
bully,  lamb  (q.v.).  7.  Whence  to  bark 
at  (or  against)  the  moon,  to  clamour 
uselessly,  agitate  to  no  effect,  labour 
in  vain :  cf.  proverb,  Barking  dogs 
bite  not.  8.  Generic  for  firearms,  spec, 
(in  navy),  a  duelling  pistol ;  also  a 
lower  deck  gun.  Barking  iron  is 
historically  the  older  term  (Grose). 
English  synonyms,  blue  lightning, 
dag,  meat  -  in  -  the  -  pot,  my  uncon- 
verted friend,  one-eyed  scribe,  pop, 
peacemaker,  whistler. 

Barkey.  Any  kind  of  vessel :  an 
endearment.  [Bark  for  vessel  is 
never  used  by  sailors  (Clark  Russell).] 

Barla-fumble !  A  call  for  truce  or 
quarter :  also  barley. 

Barley.  In  general  colloquial  use  : 
thus,  oil  of  barley  (or  barley  -  bree, 
•broth,  -juice,  -water,  or  -wine),  (1) 
strong  ale,  and  (2)  whisky  (Grose) ; 
barley-island,  an  alehouse  ;  John  Bar- 
ley (or  Barleycorn),  the  personification 
of  malt  liquor  :  cf.  proverb,  Sir  John 
Barleycorn's  the  strongest  knight ; 
barley  -  cap,  a  tippler ;  barley-mood  (or 
sick)  (1)  drunk;  and  (2)  ill-humour 
caused  by  tippling ;  also  to  have  (or 
wear)  a  barley-hat  (-cap,  or  -hood) 

Barley-bun  gentleman.  A  gent 
(although  rich)  yet  lives  with 
barley  bread,  and  otherwise  barely 
and  hardly  (Minsheu). 

Barley-straw.     A  trifle  (1721). 

Barmecide.  Usually  in  the  phrase 
a  Barmecide  feast,  short  commons ; 
lenten  entertainment.  [From  the 
Arabian  Nights  story  of  a  prince  of 
that  name  who  put  a  series  of  empty 
dishes  before  a  beggar  pretending  that 
they  formed  a  sumptuous  repast,  the 
beggar  facetiously  assenting.]  Also 
as  adj. 

Barmy  (Balmy).  Excited,  flighty, 
empty-headed  (i.e.  full  of  nothing  but 
froth) ;  barmy-brained,  crazy  ;  barmy- 
froth,  a  simpleton,  muddle-head ;  to 
put  on  the  balmy  stick  (prison),  to  feign 
madness.  English  synonyms:  to  be 
dotty,  off  one's  chump,  sappy,  spoony, 
touched,  wrong  in  the  upper  storey, 
half-baked,  have  a  screw  loose,  a  bee 



Ban  ell's  Blues. 

in  one's  bonnet,  no  milk  in  the  cocoa- 
nut,  rats  in  the  upper  storey  (or  cock- 
loft), a  tile  (screw  or  slate)  loose. 

Barn.     See  Parson's  barn. 

Barnaby.  To  dance  Barnaby,  to 
move  expeditiously,  irregularly  ( Grose): 
an  old  dance  to  a  quick  movement  was 
so  named.  Barnaby-bright  (or  Long 
Barnaby),  St.  Barnabas's  Day,  llth 
June,  O.S.  :  cf.  old  rhyme — 
Barnaby  Bright !  Barnaby  Bright : 
The  longest  day  and  the  shortest  night. 

Barnacle.  1.  A  close  companion,  a 
follower  that  will  not  be  dismissed,  a 
leech  ;  hence  a  decoy  swindler  (1591) : 
cf.  Barnard.  2.  One  that  speaketh 
through  the  nose  (Percivatt).  3. 
A  good  job,  or  snack  easily  got 
(B.  E. ).  4.  A  gratuity  given  to  grooms 
by  the  buyers  and  sellers  of  horses 
(B.  E.).  5.  In  pi.,  spectacles,  bossers 
(q.v.),  goggles  (q.v.):  Fr.,  persiennes: 
formerly  applied  only  to  spectacles 
with  side-pieces  of  coloured  glass,  and 
used  more  as  protectors  from  wind, 
dust,  etc.,  than  as  an  aid  to  the  sight 
(1571).  6.  A  brake  for  unruly 
horses'  noses  (B.  E.).  7.  The  irons 
felons  wear  in  gaol  (B.  E.). 

Barnard.  A  sharper's  confederate ;  a 
decoy  :  cf.  Barnacle.  (1532.) 

Barnburner.  A  member  of  the 
radical  section  of  the  Democratic  party 
(U.S.A.).  (1848.) 

Barndoor.  1.  A  target  too  large  to 
be  easily  missed  ( 1547) :  hence  barn- 
door practice,  a  battue  :  the  quarry  is 
driven  within  a  radius  from  which  it  is 
impossible  for  it  to  escape  ;  2.  applied 
at  cricket  to  a  player  who  blocks 
every  ball. 

Barndoor-savage.  A  country  yokel, 
farm-labourer,  clodhopper. 

Barnet !  (Christ's  Hospital :  ob- 
solete). Nonsense  !  humbug  ! 

Barnet-fair  (or  Barnet).     The  hair. 

Barney.  1.  Generic  for  humbug  or 
deceit  :  spec,  (sporting)  an  unfair 
competition  of  any  kind — a  race,  prize 
fight,  or  game ;  the  term  is  never  ap- 
plied to  a  fair  contest ;  hence  a  free 
fight,  or  rough  and  tumble,  in  which 
the  rules  of  the  game  are  not  too 
strictly  observed.  2.  A  spree,  lark 
(q.v.),  picnic  (q.v.).  3.  A  bad  recita- 
tion (Harvard  College,  c.  1810).  As 
verb,  to  recite  badly. 

Barn  -  mouse.  Bitten  by  a  barn- 
mouse,  tipsy,  screwed  (q.v.) :  see 
Barley  (Grose), 

Barn-stormer.  A  strolling  player  : 
spec,  a  mouthing  actor  (see  quot. 
1886) :  also  barnstorming. 

Barnumese.  The  high-f abating  (q.v.) 
language  so  lavishly  used  by  the  late 
P.  T.  Barnum  in  advertising  the 
greatest  show  on  earth,  exaggeration 
of  style  :  cf.  Telegraphese  :  hence  to 
barnumize  (1)  to  exhibit  with  a  lavish 
display  of  puffing  advertisement ;  and 
(2)  to  talk  of  (or  assert)  oneself  bom- 
bastically in  the  style  of  Barnum. 

Baronet.  A  sirloin  of  beef :  cf. 
Baron.  (1749.) 

Barrack.  To  jeer  at  opponents, 
interrupt  noisily,  make  a  disturbance ; 
also  with  for,  to  support  as  a  partisan, 
generally  with  clamour  :  an  Australian 
football  term  dating  from  about  1880  : 
the  verb  has  been  ruled  unparlia- 
mentary by  the  Speaker  in  the  Vic- 
torian Legislative  Assembly,  but  it  is 
in  very  common  colloquial  use :  it  is 
from  the  aboriginal  word  borak  (q.v.), 
and  the  sense  of  jeering  is  earlier  than 
that  of  supporting,  but  jeering  at  one 
side  is  akin  to  cheering  for  the  other 
(Morris).  Hence  barracking  and  bar- 

Barrack-  (or  Garrison)  -hack.  1.  A 
young  woman  attending  garrison  balls 
year  after  year.  2.  A  soldiers'  trull : 
see  Hackney. 

Barred-gown.  An  officer  of  the  law ; 
spec,  a  judge :  broad  stripes  or  bars  of 
gold  lace  run  across  the  front  of  the 

Barrel.  1.  A  confirmed  tippler : 
also  beer-barrel  ;  whence  barrel-house 
(American),  a  low  groggery ;  barrel- 
fever,  drunkenness  (or  disease  caused 
by  tippling  ) :  see  Gallon-distemper  ; 
barrel-boarder ,  a  bar  loafer.  2.  Money 
used  in  a  political  campaign  (Ameri- 
can politics) ;  spec,  that  expended  for 
corrupt  purposes  :  cf.  Boodle  ;  barrel- 
campaign,  an  election  in  which  bribery 
is  a  leading  feature  :  a  wealthy  candi- 
date for  office  (c.  1876)  is  said  to  have 
remarked,  Let  the  boys  know  that 
there's  a  bar* I  o'  money  ready  for  'em, 
or  words  to  that  effect.  Never  (or  the 
devil)  a  barrel  the  better  herring,  much 
like,  not  a  pin  to  choose  between  them, 
six  of  one  and  half  a  dozen  of  the 
other.  (1542). 

Barrel-bellied.  Well  -  rounded  in 
stomach,  corpulent.  ( 1 694. ) 

BarreU's  Blues.  The  Fourth  Foot, 
now  The  King's  Own  (Royal  Lanca- 



Bates'  Farm. 

•hire  Regiment) :  from  its  facings  and 
Colonel's  name  from  1734  to  1739. 

Barres.  Money  lost  at  play,  but  not 
paid :  a  corruption  of  barrace,  an 
obsolete  plural  of  bar. 

B  a  r  r  i  k  i  n.  Gibberish,  jargon, 
jumble  of  words.  (1851.) 

BarringOut  A  half  serious 
bat  oftentimes  jocular  rebellion  of 
schoolboys  against  their  schoolmaster. 
[HaUiweil. — An  ancient  custom  at 
schools :  the  boys,  a  few  days  before 
the  holidays,  barricade  the  school 
room  from  the  master,  and  stipulate 
for  *-he  discipline  of  the  next  half  year. 
According  to  Dr.  Johnson,  Addison, 
in  1683,  was  the  leader  in  an  affair  of 
this  kind  at  Lichfield.] 

Barrow- bun ter.  A  barrow-woman, 
a  female  costermonger.  (1771.) 

Barrow-man.  A  man  under  sen- 
tence of  transportation. 

Barrow- tram.  A  raw-boned  person : 
properly  the  shaft  of  a  wheelbarrow. 

Barter  (Winchester  College).  A 
half  volley :  as  verb,  to  bit  hard. 
[From  the  Warden  of  that  name 
famous  for  disposing  of  them.]  Hit- 
ting barters,  practice  catching,  full 
pitches  hit  from  the  middle  of  Turf 
towards  Ball  -  Court  for  catching 
practice  towards  the  end  of  Long 

Bartholomew  Baby.  1.  A  gaudily 
dressed  doll,  such  as  appears  to  have 
been  commonly  sold  at  Bartholomew 
Fair.  2.  A  person  gaudily  dressed. 

Bartholomew-pig.  Roasted  pigs 
were  formerly  among  the  chief  attrac- 
tions of  Bartholomew  Fair,  West  Smith- 
field,  London :  they  were  sold  pip- 
ing hot,  in  booths  and  on  stalls, 
and  ostentatiously  displayed,  to  excite 
the  appetite  of  passengers.  Hence  a 
Bartholomew-pig  became  a  common 
subject  of  allusion  :  the  Puritan  railed 
against  it 

Bar  ts.     St.  Bartholomew  Hospital. 

Bash.  To  beat,  thrash,  crush  out  of 
shape.  Bashing,  a  flogging,  spec,  with 
the  cat ;  basher  (1)  a  rough ;  and  (2) 
a  prize-fighter. 

Bashaw.  1.  A  pasha.  2.  A  great  (or 
imperious)  man,  grandee.  (1593.) 

Bashi  -  Bazouk.  A  ruffian  :  used 
loosely  as  a  more  or  less  mild  term  of 
opprobrium  ;  also  applied  to  anything 
bizarre  in  character  or  composition : 
the  expression  came  into  vogue  during 
the  period  when  the  Bulgarian  atro- 

cities were  electrifying  the  world  by 
their  barbarous  cruelty. 

Bash-rag.     A  ragamuffin. 

Basil.  A  fetter :  usually  fastened 
on  the  ankle  of  one  leg  only.  (1592.) 

Basin.     A  schooner  (q.v.). 

Baske  t.  An  exclamation  frequen  tly 
made  use  of  in  cockpits  where  persons, 
unable  to  pay  their  losings,  are  ad- 
judged to  be  put  into  a  basket  BUS- 
pended  over  the  pit,  there  to  remain 
till  the  sport  is  concluded  (Grose).  To 
go  to  the  basket,  to  go  to  prison  :  poor 
prisoners  in  public  gaols  were  mainly 
dependent  on  the  almsbasket  for  sus- 
tenance (1632) ;  to  pin  the  basket,  to 
conclude  a  matter ;  to  be  left  in  the 
basket,  to  remain  unchosen ;  left  to  the 
last ;  the  pick  of  the  basket,  the  best, 
choicest ;  to  bring  to  the  basket,  to  re- 
duce to  poverty  ;  to  leave  in  the  basket, 
to  leave  in  the  lurch. 

Basket-scrambler.  One  living  on 
charity,  in  receipt  of  alms. 

Bass.  A  familiar  abbreviation 
for  Bass'  ale,  brewed  at  Burton-on- 

Bass.  A  kiss:  see  Buss  (1450). 
Also  as  verb. 

Basta.  It  is  enough  !  No  more  ! 
No  matter ! 

Baste.  To  thrash,  beat  soundly  : 
cf.  Anoint  (1533).  Basting,  a  cudgel- 
ling, tanning  (q.v.). 

Baster.  1.  A  house  thief  (q.v.). 
2.  A  stick,  cudgel.  3.  A  heavy  blow. 

B  a  s  t  i  1  e.  A  workhouse.  2.  A 
prison,  steel  (q.v.). 

Bat  1.  A  prostitute  :  cf.  Fly-by- 
night  :  Fr.  hirondelle  de  nuit.  2.  A 
drunken  frolic  :  see  Batter.  3.  Pace, 
speed,  rate,  manner,  style :  e.g. 
going  off  at  a  lively  bat  Off  one's 
own  bat,  by  oneself,  through  one's 
own  exertions,  unaided  (1845);  to 
bat  the  eye*,  (1)  to  blink,  wink  ;  (2)  to 
look  on,  watch ;  of  a  bystander  not 
playing ;  to  carry  out  one's  bat,  to 
outlast  all  opponents,  secure  result 
aimed  at 

Batch.  To  live  single :  of  both  sexes : 
a  corruption  of  '  batchelor.' 

Batchelor's  Son.      A  bastard. 

Bate.  Bate  me  an  ace,  quoth  Bolton, 
an  expression  of  credulity  (1570), 
Excuse  me  ! 

Bates'  Farm  (or  Garden).  Coldbath 
Fields  prison  :  from  a  warder  of  that 
name  and  a  certain  appropriateness  in 



Bayard  of  Ten  Toes. 

the  initials,  C.B.F.,  the  prison  initials, 
and  used  as  a  stamp,  Charley  Bates' 
farm.  To  feed  the  chickens  on  Charley 
Bates'  Farm,  to  be  put  to  the  tread- 

Bat-fowler.  A  swindler,  sharper, 
victimiser  of  the  unwary.  Bat-fowl- 
ing, swindling,  rookery  (1602). 

Bath.  Go  to  Bath,  a  contemptuous 
injunction  to  be  off,  Go  to  Blazes, 
Hull,  Halifax  —  anywhere  :  the  in- 
junction was  intensified  by,  'and  get 
your  head  shaved,'  a  suggestion  of 
craziness.  To  go  to  Bath,  to  go  beg- 
ging :  Bath  in  the  latter  days  of  the 
17th  century  was  infested  with  the 
cadging  fraternity. 

Bathing  Machine.     A  10-ton  brig. 

Batie-bum  (or  Batie- bummil). 
A  useless  bungler,  slowcoach,  inactive 
helpless  fellow  (1550), 

Bat-mugger  (Winchester  College). 
A  wooden  instrument  used  for  rubbing 
oil  into  cricket  bats. 

Bats.  A  pair  of  bad  or  old  boots. 
Elworthy,  in  West  Somerset  Words, 
gives  this  as  a  heavy  laced  boot  with 

Bats  Down.  How  many  bats 
down  ?  i.e.  how  many  wickets  have 
fallen  ? 

Battels.  The  weekly  bills  of  students 
at  Oxford.  Dr.  Murray  says  much  de- 
pends on  the  original  sense  at  Oxford : 
if  this  was  food,  provisions,  it  is 
natural  to  connect  it  with  battle, 
to  feed,  or  receive  nourishment.  It 
appears  that  the  word  has  apparently 
undergone  progressive  extensions  of 
application,  owing  partly  to  changes 
in  the  internal  economy  of  the  colleges. 
Some  Oxford  men  of  a  previous  gener- 
ation state  that  it  was  understood  by 
them  to  apply  to  the  buttery  accounts 
alone,  or  even  to  the  provisions  ordered 
from  the  buttery,  as  distinct  from  the 
commons  supplied  from  the  kitchen  : 
but  this  latter  use  is  disavowed  by 
others.  Also  as  verb,  and  Battler,  an 
Oxford  student,  formerly  used  in  con- 
tradistinction to  a  gentleman  com- 

Batter.  Wear  and  tear  ;  e.g.  the 
batter  is  more  than  can  be  stood  for 
long.  To  go  on  the  batter,  to  indulge 
in  debauchery  of  any  kind — drunken- 
ness, prostitution,  etc.  Battered,  drunk : 
see  Screwed. 

Batterfang.  To  beclaw,  attack  with 
fists  and  nails  (1630). 

B  33 

Battle.  See  Battels.  Phrases,  to 
give  the  battle,  to  acknowledge  defeat, 
grant  the  victory  ;  to  have  the  battte,  to 
be  the  victor  (1400) ;  half  the  battle  (of 
anything  that  contributes  largely  to 

Battledore.  Not  to  know  a  B  from 
a  battledore,  to  be  utterly  illiterate 
(1553) ;  to  say  B  (or  Bo  I)  to  a  battle- 
dore, to  open  one's  mouth,  to  speak : 
cf.  Bo  to  a  goose  (1592). 

Battledore-boy.     An  abecedarian. 

Battle  of  the  Nile.  A  hat,  tile: 
see  Cady. 

Battle-royal.  A  general  squabble, 
free  fight :  spec,  of  two  termagant 
women  (1672). 

Battle- wright.    A  soldier. 

Battlings.  A  weekly  allowance  of 
money  :  at  Winchester  it  is  Is.,  while 
at  Repton  it  is  only  6d :  also  see 
Battels,  passim. 

Battner.  An  ox :  The  cove  has 
hushed  the  battner,  i.e.  has  killed 
the  ox  (B.  E.). 

Batty.  Wages  ;  perquisites  :  from 
batta,  an  extra  pay  given  to  soldiers 
while  serving  in  India.  Col.  Yule 
says  in  Indian  banking,  batty  means 
difference  in  exchange,  discount  on 
coins  not  current  (or  of  short  weight). 

Baubee.     See  Bawbee. 

Bauble  (Bable  or  Bawbell).  A  toy, 
trinket,  trifle  (B.  E.).  To  deserve  the 
baubel,  to  be  foolish  :  the  baubel  being 
the  Court  jester's  baton  surmounted 
by  a  carved  head  with  ass'  ears  j  to 
give  the  baubel,  to  befool. 

Baulk.  1.  A  false  report  (especially 
that  a  master  is  at  hand),  which  is 
sported  (q.v.),  not  spread.  2.  A  false 
shot,  a  mistake. 

Baum.  To  fawn,  flatter,  curry 
favour  (Hall). 

Bawbee  (or  Baubee).  A  halfpenny 
(B.  E.). 

Bawcock.  A  burlesque  term  of  en- 
dearment, my  good  fellow,  my  fine 

Bawdy-baskets.  The  twenty-third 
rank  of  Canters,  with  Pins,  Tape,  Ob- 
scene Books,  etc.,  to  sell,  but  live 
more  by  stealing  (B.  E.). 

Bawdy- house- bottle.  A  very 
small  one  (B.  E.). 

Baw-waw.  An  exclamation  of  con- 
tempt (1599).  As  adj.,  contemptibly 

Bayard  of  Ten  Toes.  1.  The  feet, 
Shanks  mare,  Marrowbone  stage 

Bay  State. 


(1606).  To  ride  bayard  of  ten  toes,  to 
go  OD  foot ;  as  bold  as  blind  Bayard  (of 
those  who  do  not  look  before  they  leap) ; 
hence  generic  for  blindness,  ignorance, 
or  recklessness.  Bayard  was  a  horse 
famous  in  old  romances. 

Bay  State.  The  State  of  Massa- 
chusetts :  orig.  the  Colony  of  Massa- 
chusetts Bay. 

Bayswater  Captain.  A  sponger 
(q.v.),  adventurer:  cf.  Dryland  sailor. 

Bay  Window.  Fat,  pregnant,  lumpy 


Beach  -  cadger.  A  beggar  whose 
pitch  is  at  watering  -  places  and 

Beach-comber.  1.  A  long  wave  roll- 
ing in  from  the  ocean.  2.  A  settler  on 
islands  in  the  Pacific,  living  by  means 
more  or  less  reputable :  comprising 
runaway  seamen,  and  deserters  from 
whalers.  3.  A  sea-shore  loafer,  one 
on  the  look-out  for  odd  jobs.  4.  A 
river  boatman.  5.  A  wrecker,  water- 
rat  (q.v.). 

Beach- tram  per.  A  coastguards- 
man,  shingle  smasher. 

Bead.  To  draw  a  bead,  to  attack 
an  opponent  by  speech  or  otherwise  : 
from  backwoods  parlance ;  to  raise  a 
bead,  to  bring  to  the  point,  ensure 
success :  from  brandy,  rum,  or  other 
liquors,  which  will  not  raise  a  bead 
unless  of  the  proper  strength  ;  to  bid  a 
bead,  to  offer  prayer ;  beads-bidding, 
prayer ;  to  say  (tell,  or  count)  one's 
beads,  to  say  prayers ;  to  pray  without 
one's  beads,  to  be  out  of  one's  reckoning. 

Beadledom.  Red-tapism,  formal- 
ity, stupid  officiousness  (1860). 

Beady.  Full  of  bubbles,  frothy 

Beagle,  subs.  (old).  A  spy ;  in- 
former ;  man-hunter,  policeman  ;  also 
a  general  term  of  contempt  (1559). 

Beak.  1 .  A  constable  (also  barman - 
beck),  policeman,  guardian  of  the 
peace :  as  far  as  is  known,  this  (as 
beck)  is  the  oldest  cant  term  for  one 
of  a  class  of  men.  In  Harman's  Caveat 
(1573),  harman  beck  is  explained  as 
'the  counstable,  harmans  being  the 
stockes.'  2.  A  magistrate :  some- 
times beak  of  the  law.  3.  The 
nose :  see  Conk  (1598).  4.  (Eton  and 
Marlborough  Schools).  A  master : 
5.  A  thrust,  poke  (1592).  Birds  of  a 
beak,  birds  of  a  feather  (q.v.). 

Beaker.  A  fowl :  also  Beak.  Cackl- 
ing-cheat  (q.v.) :  Fr.,  estable,  or  estaphle 

Beaker-hunter.  A  poultry  thief: 
also  Beak-hunter. 

Beak-gander.  A  judge  of  the  High 
Court  of  Justice. 

Beaksman.     A  policeman. 

Be  -  all  and  End  -  all.  The  whole, 
everything,  the  blooming  lot  (q.v.) 

Beam.  An  authorised  standard  of 
criticism,  manners,  morals,  etc.  To 
kick  (or  strike)  the  beam,  to  be  over- 
powered, in  a  tight  place  (or  corner). 

Beam  Ends.  To  be  thrown  on  one's 
beam  ends,  ( 1 )  tobe  in  bad  circumstances, 
at  one's  last  shift,  hard-up :  a  metaphor 
drawn  from  sea  -  faring  life  :  a  ship  is 
said  to  be  on  her  beam  ends  when  on 
her  side  by  stress  of  weather,  or  shifting 
of  cargo,  as  to  be  submerged  (1830), 
2.  Also,  less  figuratively,  to  be  thrown 
to  the  ground,  reduced  to  a  sitting 
or  lying  posture. 

Bean  (or  Bien).  1.  A  sovereign,  20s.: 
formerly  a  guinea :  in  America  five- 
dollar  gold  pieces  :  see  Half -bean  and 
Haddock  of  Deans  :  in  old  French  cant, 
biens  meant  money  or  property :  see 
Rhino.  2.  pi.,  small  coal  (Newcastle). 
Full  of  beans,  in  good  form  (or  con- 
dition), full  of  health,  spirits,  or  capa- 
city, aa  a  horse  after  a  good  feed  of 
beans.  To  give  beans,  to  chastise, 
give  a  good  drubbing.  Like  beans,  in 
good  form  (style,  time,  etc.),  with 
force :  a  general  expression  of  ap- 
proval ana  praise :  cf.  Like  blazes, 
(bricks,  or  one  o'clock).  Not  to  care 
(or  be  worth)  a  bean,  to  hold  in  little 
esteem,  think  lightly  of,  be  of  little 
value :  the  allusion  is  to  the  small 
worth  or  value  of  a  bean,  or  the 
black  of  a  bean  (1297).  Beany,  in 
good  humour — a  metaphor  drawn  from 
the  stable.  To  know  beans,  to  be  well- 
informed,  sharp  and  shrewd,  within 
the  charmed  circle  of  the  cultured 
elect,  fully  equipped  in  the  upper 
storey.  To  know  how  many  blue  beans 
make  five  white  ones,  this  is  generally 
put  in  the  form  of  a  question,  the 
answer  to  which  is  Five,  if  peeled, 
and  those  who  fail  to  get  tripped  by 
the  catch  are  said  to  know  how  many, 
etc.  ;  in  other  words  to  be  cute,  know- 
ing, wide  awake.  To  draw  a  bean,  to 
get  elected  :  an  allusion  to  the  former 
use  of  beans  in  balloting  ;  to  have  the 
bean,  to  be  first  and  foremost ;  in  re- 
ference to  the  custom  of  appointing 
as  king  of  the  company  on  Twelfth 


Bean  Belly. 


Night,  the  man  in  whose  portion  of 
the  cake  the  bean  was  found  (1556). 
Also  proverbial,  Hunger  maketh 
hard  beans  sweet ;  It  is  not  for 
idleness  that  men  sow  beans  in  the 
wind  (i.e.  labour  in  vain) ;  Every 
bean  hath  its  black.  Three  blue  beans 
in  a  blue  bladder,  noisy  talk,  clap-trap, 
froth  (1600). 

Bean  Belly.  A  Leicestershire  man : 
from  a  real  or  supposed  fondness  of  the 
inhabitants  of  this  county  for  beans. 

Bean-feast.  An  annual  feast  given 
by  employers  to  their  work  -  people. 
The  derivation  is  uncertain,  and,  at 
present,  there  is  little  evidence  to  go 
upon.  Some  have  suggested  its  origin 
in  the  prominence  of  the  bean  goose,  or 
even  beans  at  these  spreads ;  others 
refer  it  to  the  French  bien,  good,  i.e. 
a  good  feast  (by-the-bye,  tailors  call 
all  good  feeds  bean  -  feasts) ;  whilst 
others  favour  its  derivation  from  the 
modern  English  bene,  a  request  or  soli- 
citation, from  the  custom  of  collecting 
subscriptions  to  defray  the  cost :  also 
called  a  wayzgoose  (q.v.). 

Bean-f caster.  One  who  takes  part 
in  a  bean-feast  (q.v.). 

Beano.  The  same  as  bean  -  feast 

Bean-pole  (stick,  or  wood).  A 
lanky  person,  lamp-post  (q.v.). 

Bean  Trap.  A  swell  mobsman, 
stylish  sharper. 

Beany.  Full  of  vigour,  fresh,  like  a 
bean-fed  horse. 

Bear  (Stock  Exchange).  1.  Ap- 
plied, in  the  first  instance,  to  stock  sold 
by  jobbers  for  delivery  at  a  certain 
date,  on  the  chance  of  prices  falling  in 
the  meantime,  thus  allowing  the  seller 
to  re  -  purchase  at  a  profit.  At  first 
the  phrase  was  probably  To  sell  the 
bear-skin,  the  buyers  of  such  bar- 
gains being  called  bear-skin  jobbers, 
in  allusion  to  the  proverb,  To  sell  the 
bear's  skin  before  one  has  caught  the 
bear.  So  far,  the  origin  of  the  phrase 
seems  pretty  clear  ;  of  the  date  of  its  in- 
troduction, however,  nothing  is  known. 
It  was  a  common  term  in  Stock  Ex- 
change circles,  at  the  time  of  the  burst- 
ing of  the  South  Sea  Bubble  in  1720, 
but  it  does  not  seem  to  have  become 
colloquial  until  much  later.  In  these 
transactions  no  stock  was  delivered,the 
difference  being  settled  according  to 
the  quotation  of  the  day,  as  is  the  prac- 
tice now  in  securities  dealt  with  for 

the  account.  At  present  the  term  for 
such  an  arrangement  is  time-bargain. 
2.  Hence  a  dealer  who  speculates  for  a 
fall.  The  earliest  instance  noted  of 
this  transferred  usage  is  of  the  date 
1744.  Fr.,  baissier  :  see  Bull,  Stag, 
and  Lame  Duck.  3.  A  rough,  un- 
mannerly, or  uncouth  person ;  hence 
the  pupil  of  a  private  tutor,  the  latter 
being  called  a  Bear  -  leader  (q.v.); 
also  called  formerly  Bridled-bear.  To 
play  the  bear,  to  behave  roughly  and 
uncouthly  (1579).  As  verb,  to  act  as 
a  bear  (q.v.).  Are  you  there  with  your 
bears  ?  A  greeting  of  surprise  at  the 
reappearance  of  anybody  or  anything ; 
are  you  there  again ;  What,  again  ! 
so  soon  ?  The  phrase  is  explained  by 
Joe  Miller,  as  the  exclamation  of  a 
man  who,  not  liking  a  sermon  he  had 
heard  on  Elisha  and  the  bears,  went 
next  Sunday  to  another  church,  only  to 
find  the  same  preacher  and  the  same 
discourse  (1642).  To  bear  the  bell 
(coals,  palm,  etc.),  see  the  nouns  ;  to 
bear  low  sail,  to  demean  oneself  humbly 
( 1300) ;  to  bear  a  blow,  to  strike  ;  to  bear 
up,  to  cheat,  swindle :  see  Bonnet. 
Bear  a  bob,  (1)  lend  a  hand,  look  sharp  ! 
look  alive  !  (2)  To  aid,  to  assist,  to 
take  part  in  anything. 

Beard.  In  spite  of  one's  beard,  in 
opposition  or  defiance  to  a  purpose ; 
to  one's  beard,  openly,  to  one's  face ; 
to  run  in  one's  beard,  to  oppose  openly, 
face  out ;  to  take  by  the  beard,  to  attack 
resolutely  ;  to  make  one's  beard,  to  out- 
wit, delude ;  to  make  one's  beard  without 
a  razor,  to  behead ;  to  put  against  the 
beard,  to  taunt. 

Bearded  Cad  (Winchester  College). 
A  porter,  employed  by  the  College 
to  convey  luggage  from  the  railway 
station  to  the  school :  the  term  origin- 
ated in  an  extremely  hirsute  individ- 
ual who  at  one  time  acted  in  the 

Bear-garden.  A  scene  of  strife  and 

Bear  -  garden  Jaw,  subs.  (old). 
Rough,  unmannerly  speech  ;  talk  akin 
to  that  used  in  bear  gardens  and  other 
places  of  low  resort  (Grose). 

Be-argered.   Drunk:  see  Screwed. 

Bearing.  Acting  as  a  bear  (q.v.) ; 
or  using  artifices  to  lower  the  price  of 
stock  to  suit  a  bear  account. 

Bearings.  To  bring  one  to  one's  bear- 
ings, to  bring  one  to  reason,  to  act  as 
a  check. 




Bear-leader.     A  travelling  tutor. 

Bear  -  play.  Rough,  tumultuous 

Bearskin-jobber.    See  Bear. 

Beast  1.  Applied  to  anything  un- 
pleasant ;  or,  to  that  which  displeases ; 
e.g.  It's  a  perfect  beast  of  a  day,  for 
it's  an  unpleasant  day :  see  Beastly. 
2.  A  new  cadet  at  the  U.S.  Military 
Academy  at  West  Point  3.  (Cam- 
bridge University).  One  who  has  left 
school  and  come  np  to  Cambridge 
for  study,  before  entering  the  Uni- 
versity: because  he  is  neither  man 
nor  boy. 

Beastly.  In  modern  colloquial  usage 
applied  to  whatever  may  offend  the 
taste :  cL  awful*  everlasting,  etc. 

Beat  1.  This  word  is  used  in  many 
ways,  its  precise  meaning  often  depend- 
ing on  ita  qualifying  adjective.  It  is  said 
of  both  men  and  things  ;  for  example, 
a  live  beat  is  anybody  or  anything  that 
surpasses  another,  and  the  sense  is 
not  derogatory  in  the  least.  A  dead 
beat,  on  the  other  hand,  is  the  name 
given  to  a  man  who  sponges  on  his 
fellows.  [Probably  from  that  sense 
of  beat  signifying  to  overcome;  to 
show  oneself  superior  to,  either  in  a 
good  or  bad  sense.]  2.  A  daily  round, 
duty,  work,  etc.  ;  and,  figuratively, 
a  sphere  of  influence  (1788).  As 
adj.  (1)  overcome,  exhausted,  done 
up:  generally  dead-beat  (q.v.) ;  (2) 
hence  baffled,  defeated.  As  verb,  to 
swindle,  deceive,  cheat  Daisy  beat, 
a  swindle  of  the  first  water,  a  robbery 
of  magnitude.  To  beat  hollow  (to 
sticks,  ribands,  fits,  all  creation,  to 
shivers,  etc.),  to  excel,  surpass  (1759). 
To  get  a  beat  on,  to  get  the  advantage  of. 
Other  phrases  are,  to  beat  the  air,  to 
strive  to  no  purpose  (1375) ;  to  beat  the 
rtreete,  to  walk  to  and  fro ;  tobeat  over  the 
old  ground,  to  discuss  topics  already 
treated ;  to  beat  about  the  bush,  to  act 
cautiously,  approach  warily  or  in  a 
roundabout  way  (1572);  to  beat  up, 
to  visit  unceremoniously ;  to  beat  the 
brains,  (head,  etc.),  to  think  per- 
sistently ;  to  beat  out,  to  exhaust, 
overpower ;  to  beat  the  hoof,  to 
walk,  go  on  foot,  plod,  prowl  (1596) ; 
to  beat  the  rib  (see  Rib).  To  beat  the 
booby  (or  goose),  to  strike  the  hands 
across  the  chest  and  under  the  arm  pits 
to  warm  them  :  formerly  to  beat  Jonas  ; 
to  beat  the  road,  to  travel  by  rail  without 

paying.  That  beats  the  Dutch!  (see 
Dutch).  To  beat  daddy  mammy,  to 
tattoo,  practise  the  elements  of  drum 
beating.  To  beat  down  to  bed-rock  (see 
Bedrock).  To  beat  out,  impoverished, 
in  one's  last  straits,  hard  up. 

Beater-cases.  Boots,  shoes,  now 
nearly  obsolete.  Trotter-cases  (q.v.) 
being  the  usual  term  nowadays. 

Beaters.  The  feet :  Barclay  in  Shyp 
of  Polys  (1509),  speaks  of  'night 
watchers  and  beters  of  the  stretes : ' 
see  Creepers. 

Beating-stock.  A  subject  of  fre- 
quent chastisement :  cf.  Laughing- 

Beauetry.  Dandyism,  dandy  out- 
fit :  a  humorous  imitation  of  coquetry 

Beau  Trap.  1 .  A  loose  stone  in  a  pave- 
ment, under  which  water  lodges,  and 
which,  on  being  trodden  upon,  squirts 
it  up.  2.  A  well-dressed  sharper,  on 
the  look-out  for  raw  country  visitors 
and  such  like.  3.  A  fop,  well-dressed 
outwardly,  but  whose  linen,  person, 
and  habits  generally  are  unclean. 

B eau ty.  A  term  applied,  on  the  rule 
of  contrary,  to  the  plainest  or  ugliest 
cadet  in  the  class  at  the  United  States 
Military  Academy  at  West  Point  It 
was  great  beauty,  it  was  a  fine  sight ; 
That's  the  beauty  of  it,  That's  just  as  it 
should  be  :  as  affording  special  pleasure 
or  satisfaction. 

Beauty-sleep.  Sleep  before  mid- 
night, the  idea  being  that  early  hours 
conduce  to  health  and  beauty  ( 1850). 

Beauty-spot.  Ironically  of  a  pimple 
or  other  blemish  on  the  face  or  other 
exposed  parts  of  the  person. 

Beaver,  subs,  (common).  An  old 
term  for  a  hat;  goss,  cady  (1528): 
at  one  time  hats  were  made  of  beaver's 
fur — hence  the  name  ;  the  term  is  still 
occasionally  applied  to  tall  chimney- 
pot hats,  but  for  many  years  silk  has 
replaced  the  skin  of  the  rodent  in  their 
manufacture.  In  beaver,  in  a  tall  hat 
and  non-academical  garb,  as  distin- 
guished from  cap  and  gown  (1840). 
See  also  Bever. 

Beck.  1.  A  constable  :  see  Beak.  2. 
A  parish  beadle  ;  apparently  the  term 
was  applied  to  all  kinds  of  watch- 
men :  see  Harman-beck.  As  verb,  to 
imprison :  amongst  Dutch  thieves 
bfJcaan  has  the  same  signification. 

Bed.  To  put  to  bed  with  a  pickaxe 
and  shovel,  to  bury. 




Bedder  (Cambridge  University).  A 
charwoman  ;  one  who  makes  the  beds 
and  performs  other  necessary  domestic 
duties  for  residents  in  college. 

Bed-fagot.  1.  Applied  contemp- 
tuously to  a  woman ;  cf.  hussy, 
witch,  etc.  2.  A  wanton. 

Bedfordshire.  Sheet  alley  (q.v.), 
blanket  fair  (q.v.),  the  land  of  Nod 
(q.v.),  etc.  (1665). 

Bedful  of  Bones.  A  skinny,  bony, 
bedfellow  (1621). 

Bedoozle.  To  confuse,  to  bewilder  : 
probably  a  corrupt  form  of  the  old 
English  verb  bedazzle,  used  by 
Shakespeare  in  Taming  of  the  Shrew, 
IV.  v.  46  (1593). 

Bedpost.  In  the  twinkling  of  a  bedpost, 
instantaneously,  with  great  rapidity  : 
originally  in  the  twinkling  of  a  bedstaff 
(1660).  Among  English  synonyms 
may  be  included : — in  a  jiffy,  in  two 
two's,  in  a  brace  of  shakes,  before  you 
can  say  Jack  Robinson,  in  a  crack,  in 
the  squeezing  of  a  lemon.  Between 
you  and  me  and  the  bed-post,  a  humor- 
ous tag  to  an  assertion  ;  i.e.  between 
ourselves  —  I  know  what  you  say, 
but,  between  you  and  me,  etc.  .  .  .  the 
thing  is  absurd  :  sometimes  the  last 
word  is  varied  by  post,  door  post, 
or  gate  post  —  any  prop  will  serve 

Bedrock.  To  get  down  to  bedrock,  to 
get  at  the  bottom  of  matters,  thorough- 
ly understand,  get  in  on  the  ground 
floor  (q.v.) :  a  miner's  term,  alluding 
to  the  solid  rock  underlying  superficial 
and  other  formations.  Bedrock  fact, 
a  chiel  that  winna  ding,  the  incon- 
testable and  incontrovertible  truth. 

Bedtime.  The  hour  of  death  (Al- 

Bee.  1.  A  sweet  writer.  2.  A 
busy  worker.  3.  A  working  party  of 
neighbours  and  friends  for  the  benefit 
of  one  of  their  number ;  as  when  a 
party  of  settlers  combine  to  erect  a 
log-house  for  a  newcomer,  or  when 
farmers  unite  to  gather  one  another's 
harvests  in  succession  :  e.g.  apple-bee, 
raising  bee,  etc. ;  hence,  a  social  gather- 
ing for  some  specific  purpose,  as  spelling 
bee.  To  have  a  bee  in  the  head  (brains, 
garret,  or  bonnet,)  to  have  queer  ideas, 
be  half-cracked,  nighty  ;  this  phrase  is 
of  considerable  antiquity,  being  traced 
back  to  a  Scotch  writer,  Gawin 
Douglas  by  name  [1474-1521],  Bishop 
of  Dunkeld,  who  used  it  in  a  transla- 

tion of  Virgil's  JEneid.  Hence,  bee- 
bonneted  (or  bee-headed)  crazed ;  bee- 
head,  a  crazy  pate  :  see  Buffle. 

Beef.  1.  Human  flesh  (a  trans- 
ferred sense) ;  i.e.  obese,  stolid,  fleshy 
like  an  ox.  2.  By  a  further  transi- 
tion beef  has  also  come  to  signify 
men,  strength,  hands ;  More  beef  I  a 
bo' sun's  exhortation  to  extra  exertion. 
To  be  in  a  man's  beef,  to  wound  with  a 
sword  (Grose).  To  cry  (or  give)  beef  (or 
hot  beef),  to  give  an  alarm,  pursue,  set 
up  a  hue  and  cry :  it  has  been  suggested 
that  beef  in  this  case  is  a  rhyming 
synonym  for  thief.  To  be  dressed 
like  Christmas  beef,  to  be  decked  out 
in  one's  best  raiment.  To  make  beef, 
to  run  away,  decamp.  Beef  to  the 
heels,  like  a  Mullingar  Heifer,  said  of  a 
stalwart  man,  or  a  fine  woman ;  i.e. 
one  whose  superiority  is  manifest  from 
the  crown  of  the  head  to  the  sole  of  the 
foot ;  literally,  all  beef  down  to  the  heels. 
Beef  up  I  phr.  Put  on  your  strength  ! 
Give  a  long  pull  and  a  strong  pull ! 
To  beef  it,  originally  a  provincialism, 
but  now  common  in  the  East  End  of 
London  :  to  take  a  meat  meal,  more 
particularly  of  beef. 

Beef  -  brained.  Doltish,  obtuse, 

Beef-head.  A  dolt ;  a  stupid,  thick- 
headed person :  see  Buffle. 

Beefment.  On  the  beefment,  on  the 
alert,  on  the  look  out. 

Beef-stick.  The  bone  in  a  joint  of 
beef.  At  mess  it  is  First  come,  best 
served ;  and  those  who  come  last 
sometimes  get  little  more  than  the 

Beef  Straight    See  Straight. 

Beef  -  witted.  See  Beef-brained 

Beefy.  Fleshy,  unduly  thick,  obese : 
a  run  of  luck  and  good  fortune,  gener- 
ally, is  likewise  referred  to  as  beefy. 
Whence  beefiness. 

Bee-line.  To  take  (or  make)  a  bee- 
line,  to  go  direct,  as  the  crow  flies, 
without  circumlocution.  Bees,  when 
fully  laden  with  pollen,  make  for  the 
hive  in  a  straight,  or  bee-line.  One 
of  the  American  railways  is  called  the 
Bee  Line  Road  from  the  direct  route  it 
takes  between  its  termini  (1849). 

Beelzebub's  Paradise.  Hell,  the 
infernal  regions. 

Been.  Been  in  the  sun,  drunk  :  see 
Screwed.  Been  measured  for  a  new 
umbrella,  said  sportively  of  any  one 




appearing  in  new,  ill  •  fitting  clothes, 
or  who  has  struck  out  a  new  line  of 
action,  the  wisdom  of  which  is  doubt- 
ful :  the  joke  is  an  old  one  and  refers  to 
a  man  of  whom  it  was  said  that  nothing 
fitted  him  but  his  umbrella.  Oh  yes, 
Pve,  been  there ;  I  know  what  I  am 
about.  A  popular  exclamation :  when 
it  is  said  of  a  man  that  he  has  been 
there,  shrewdness,  pertinacity,  and 
experience  are  implied. 

Beer.  To  drink  beer,  also,  to  do  a  beer. 
To  be  in  beer,  drunk :  see  Screwed.  To 
think  no  email  beer  of  oneself,  to  possess 
a  good  measure  of  self-esteem  (1840) : 
see  Small-beer. 

Beer  an  d  Bi  ble.  An  epithet  applied 
sarcastically  to  a  political  party  which 
first  came  into  prominence  during  the 
last  Beaconsfield  Administration,  and 
which  was  called  into  being  by  a 
measure  introduced  by  the  moderate 
Liberals  in  1873,  with  a  view  to  placing 
certain  restrictions  upon  the  sale  of 
intoxicating  drinks.  The  Licensed 
Victuallers,  an  extremely  powerful 
association  whose  influence  extended 
all  over  the  kingdom,  took  alarm, 
and  turned  to  the  Conservatives  for 
help  in  opposing  the  bill.  In  the 
ranks  of  the  latter  were  numbered  the 
chief  brewers  ;  the  leaders  of  the  asso- 
ciation, moreover,  had  mostly  strong 
high -church  tendencies,  while  one  of 
them  was  president  of  the  Exeter  Hall 
organization.  The  Liberals,  noting 
these  facts,  nicknamed  this  alliance 
the  Beer  and  Bible  Association ;  the 
Morning  Advertiser,  the  organ  of  the 
Licensed  Victuallers,  was  dubbed  the 
Beer  and  Bible  Gazette ;  and  lastly, 
electioneering  tactics  ascribed  to  them 
the  war  cry  of  Beer  and  Bible  I  This 
so-called  Beer  and  Bible  interest  made 
rapid  strides :  in  1 870  the  Conservatives 
were  at  their  low-water  mark  among 
the  London  constituencies ;  but,  in 
1 880,  they  had  carried  seats  in  the  City, 
Westminster,  Marylebone,  Tower  Ham- 
lets, Greenwich,  and  Southwark.  A 
notable  exception  to  this  strange 
fellowship  was  Mr.  Bass  [afterwards 
Lord  Bass],  of  pale-ale  fame,  who  held 
aloof  from  opposition  to  the  measure 
in  question.  Anent  the  nickname 
Beer  and  Bible  Gazette,  given  to  the 
Morning  Advertiser,  it  may  be  men- 
tioned that  it  had  already  earned  for 
itself  a  somewhat  similar  sobriquet. 
For  a  long  time  this  paper  devoted 

one-half  of  its  front  page  to  notices  of 
publicans  and  tavern-keepers  ;  while 
the  other  half  was  filled  up  with 
announcements  of  religious  books, 
and  lists  of  preachers  at  the  London 
churches  and  chapels.  This  gained 
for  the  paper  the  sobriquet  of  the  Gin 
and  Gospel  Gazette. 

Beer  and  Skittles.  Generally,  Not  all 
beer  and  skittles,  i.e.  not  altogether 
pleasant,  or  couleur  de  rose. 

Beer- barrel.  The  human  body :  cf. 

Beeriness  (or  Beery),  pertaining  to 
a  state  of  (or  approaching  to)  drunken- 
ness, intoxicated,  fuddled  with  beer  : 
see  Screwed  (1857). 

Beer-jerker  (or  -slinger).  A  tippler: 
see  Lushington. 

Beerocracy,  subs,  (common).  The 
brewing  and  beer-selling  interest :  a 
humorous  appellation  in  imitation  of 
aristocracy :  cf.  Mobocracy,  Cotton- 
ocracy, etc. 

Beeswax.  1.  Poor,  soft  cheese, 
sweaty-toe  cheese  (q.v.)  (1821).  2.  A 
bore  ;  one  who  button-holes  another ; 
generally  Old  beeswax. 

Beeswaxers  (Winchester  College). 
Thick  boots  :  used  for  football :  prob- 
ably from  being  smeared  with  bees- 
wax to  supple  them :  pronounced 

Beeswing.  A  gauzy  film  or  crust,  in 
port  wines,  the  result  of  age,  so  called 
from  its  appearance  when  broken  up 
in  the  process  of  decanting.  Hence 
also  Beeswinged  ( 1846).  Ola  beeswing, 
a  nickname  for  any  one,  but  especi- 
ally for  one  who  takes  to  his  liquor 

Beetle.  Deaf  (dumb,  or  dull)  as  a 
beetle,  a  type  of  dulness  or  stupidity, 
blockishness  ;  beetle-brain  (-or  head),  a 
term  of  contempt :  cf.  Blockhead. 

Bee  tie-crusher  (or  bee  tle-squasher), 
1.  A  large  foot :  the  term  was  popu- 
larised by  Leech  in  Punch.  2.  A 
large  boot  or  shoe :  also  Beetle-cases. 
3.  An  infantry  soldier ;  a  cavalry  term : 
see  Mud-crusher. 

Beetle-crushing.  With  solid  tread, 
such  as  comes  from  large  heavy  feet  in 
boots  or  shoes  to  match ;  e.g.  the 
marching  of  infantry. 

Beetles.     Colorado  mining  shares. 

Beetle-sticker.     An  entomologist. 

Before.  Before  the  wind,  in  prosper- 
ous circumstances,  out  of  debt  or 


Begad ! 


Begad  !  A  corruption  of  By  God ! 
and,  as  such,  a  euphemistic  oath 

Beggar.  1.  A  term  of  contempt ; 
a  mean  or  low  fellow.  2.  An  endear- 
ment :  cf.  baggage,  dog,  rogue,  etc. 
Also  phrases :  A  beggar's  wallet  is 
never  filled  (1539) ;  Beggars  should 
not  be  choosers  (1562) ;  A  beggar 
may  sing  before  a  thief  (1562) ;  I 
know  him  as  well  as  a  beggar  knows 
his  bag ;  Beggars  mounted  run  their 
horses  to  death ;  Rich  when  young, 
a  beggar  when  old ;  As  great  as 
beggars;  Sue  a  beggar  and  catch  a 
louse ;  Set  a  beggar  on  horseback 
and  he'll  ride  to  the  devil.  Beggar  the 
thing !  confound  it,  or,  hang  the 

Beggared.  Ptt  be  beggared  if,  etc.,  an 
emphatic  asseveration ;  i.e.  I'll  give 
up  everything,  even  to  being  reduced 
to  beggary,  if,  etc. 

Beggar-maker.     A  publican. 

Beggars.  The  small  cards  from  the 
deuce  to  the  ten. 

Beggar's  Brown.  Scotch  snuff : 
made  of  the  stem  of  tobacco. 

Beggar's  Bullets  (or  Bolts).  Stones 

Beggar's  Bush.  To  go  home  by 
beggar's  bush,  to  go  to  ruin  (1686). 

Beggar's  Plush.     Corduroy  (1688). 

Beggar's  Velvet.  Downy  particles 
which  accumulate  under  furniture : 
otherwise  called  sluts'-wool  (q.v.). 

Begin.  To  begin  upon  a  person,  to 
attack,  assault. 

Begosh  1  B'gosh  I  An  expletive 
(probably  of  negro  origin),  a  half  veiled 

Behind.  1.  The  posterior.  2.  (Eton 
and  Winchester  Colleges).  A  back  at 
football :  at  Eton  called  short  behind 
and  long  behind,  usually  abbreviated 
to  short  and  long ;  at  Winchester, 
second  behind  and  last  behind :  these 
answer  to  the  half-back  and  back  of 
Association  football :  at  Winchester, 
in  the  Fifteens,  there  is  also  a  third 
behind.  Behind  one's  side  (Winchester 
College).  Said  of  a  man  when  nearer 
the  opponent's  goal  than  the  player  of 
his  team  who  last  touched  the  ball. 

Beilby's  Ball.  An  Old  Bailey 
execution  (Grose). 

Bejan,  Baijan  (Scotch  University). 
A  freshman  student  of  the  first  year  at 
the  Universities  of  St.  Andrews  and 
Aberdeen  :  it  is  now  obsolete  at  Edin- 

burgh :  from  the  French  bee  jaune, 
yellow  beak,  in  allusion  to  the  colour 
of  the  mandibles  of  young  birds.  The 
term  was  adopted  from  the  University 
of  Paris ;  but,  signifying  a  novice, 
it  has  been  in  more  or  less  general  use 
for  nearly  three  hundred  years.  At 
Aberdeen,  the  second-class  students 
are  semi-bejans  ;  in  the  third  tertians  ; 
while  those  in  the  highest  rank  are 

Belph.  Beer,  especially  poor  beer : 
because  of  its  liability  to  cause  eructa- 
tion. One  of  Shakespeare's  characters 
in  Twelfth  Night  is  Sir  Toby  Belch,  a 
reckless,  roystering,  jolly  knight  of  the 
Elizabethan  period. 

Belcher.  1.  A  neckerchief  named 
after  Jim  Belcher,  a  noted  pugilist :  the 
ground  is  blue,  with  white  spots  :  also 
any  handkerchief  of  a  similar  pattern 
(1812).  2.  A  ring:  with  the  crown 
and  V.R.  stamped  upon  them.  3.  A 
beer  drinker,  a  hard  drinker  (1598). 

Belial.     Balliol  College,  Oxford. 

Believe.  /  believe  you,  employed  to 
signify  general  assent ;  Yes :  some- 
times /  believe  you,  my  boy ;  once  a 
favourite  catch-phrase  of  a  well-known 

Bell.  A  song  :  a  tramps'  term  :  a 
diminutive  of  bellow.  To  bell  a 
marble,  to  run  away  with  it :  the 
action  scarcely  amounts  to  actual 
theft.  To  ring  one's  own  bell,  to 
blow  one's  trumpet,  to  sound  one's 
own  praises. 

Bell  -  bastard.  The  illegitimate 
child  of  a  woman  who  is  herself 

Bellmare.  A  political  leader,  mostly 

Bellows.  The  lungs  (1615).  Bellows  to 
mend,  said  of  a  broken-winded  horse ; 
likewise  of  a  man  whose  lungs  are 
affected,  or  one  who  from  any  cause 
is  out  of  health. 

Bellows-blower.  1.  One  exciting  to 
strife.  2.  An  unskilled  assistant,  a 
mere  hodman. 

Bellowsed.  Transported,  lagged :  cf. 

Bellowser.  1.  A  blow  in  the  pit  of 
the  stomach,  a  winder,  that  which  takes 
the  breath  away.  2.  A  sentence  of 
transportation  for  life. 

Bell-rope.     Aggera waters  (q.v.). 

Bellswagger.     See  Belswagger. 

Bell-topper.  A  silk  hat :  see  Gol- 



Bell- we  ther.  1 .  A  chief  or  leader :  in 
contempt.  2.  Clamorous  person,  a 
mouther  (q.v.).  Henoe  BeUwethering 
and  Kdlwetherishneas. 

Belly-ache.     A  colic. 

Belly-bender.  A  boy's  term  for 
weak  and  unsafe  ice. 

Belly- bound.  Constipated  ;  costive. 

Belly-bumper  (or  Belly-buster). 
To  take  a  belly-butter,  to  ride  downhill 
in  a  sled  lying  on  one's  stomach  :  an 
amusement  of  young  America :  the 
idea  of  tobogganing  was  derived  from 
this  boyish  pastime :  also  Belly- bumbo, 
Belly-guts  (or  gutter).  Belly-flounders, 
Belly-Sumps,  and  Belly-plumper. 

Belly-button.    The  navel. 

Belly-cheat  (or  Belly-chete).  1. 
An  apron.  2.  Food  (1609). 

Belly-cheer  (or  Belly-chere).  Food. 
Belly-cheering,  eating,  drinking  (1559). 

Belly-critic.  A  connoisseur  of  good 

Belly-friend.  A  parasite,  sponger 

Belly-full.  A  sound  drubbing,  a 
thrashing  (1599). 

Belly-furniture.  Food,  something 
wherewith  to  furnish  the  belly :  cf. 
Belly-timber,  Back- timber,  etc.  (1653). 

Belly-god.    A  glutton  (1540). 

Belly  -  go-firster.  An  initial  blow, 
generally  given,  say  some  authorities, 
in  the  stomach  —  whence  its  classic 
name  ! 

Belly-grinding.  Colic,  a  pain  in  the 

Belly-gut,  subs.  (old).  A  lazy,  greedy 
fellow;  slothful  glutton  (1540). 

Belly-guts.  1.  In  Pennsylvania, 
molasses  candy.  2.  Belly  -  bumper 

Belly-hedges  (Shrewsbury  School). 
In  school  steeplechases,  obstructions 
of  such  a  height  that  they  can  easily 
be  cleared — i.e.  about  belly-high. 

Belly-metal.     Food. 

Belly-mountained.  Prominent  in 
the  belly,  footy-gutted  (q.v.). 

Belly- paunch.  A  glutton,  a  great 

Belly- piece.  1.  An  apron:  cf.  Belly- 
cheat  (1689).  2.  A  mistress,  concubine 

Belly-pinched.     Hungry. 

Belly  Plea.  A  plea  of  pregnancy  : 
urged  by  female  felons  capitally  con- 
victed. The  plea  still  holds  good, 
execution  of  female  convicts  in  an 
interesting  condition  being  deferred 

until  after  accouchement :  in  practice, 
it  really  means  a  commutation  of  the 
death  penalty  for  life  imprisonment. 

Belly- plum  per.    See  Belly-bumper. 

Belly-sacrifice.  A  gluttonous  feast. 

Belly- slave.     A  glutton. 

Belly-swain.     A  glutton. 

Belly-timber.  Food,  provisions  of 
all  kinds :  like  many  other  words  of  its 
class  (e.g.  Back-timber,  q.v.),  once 
in  serious  use,  but  now  a  thorough- 
going vulgarism,  only  surviving  dia- 
lectically,  and  as  slang  :  Massinger  and 
the  older  dramatists  employed  it 
seriously,  toward  the  end  of  the  seven- 
teenth century  it  began  to  be  used  in 
a  ludicrous  and  vulgar  sense. 

Belly-up.     Enceinte. 

Belly- vengeance.  Sour  beer:  as 
apt  to  cause  gastralgia :  Fr.,  pissin  de 

Belongings.  1.  Qualities,  endow- 
ments, faculties.  2.  Relations,  one's 
kindred.  3.  One's  effects,  possessions. 
4.  Trousers. 

Belswagger,subs.(old).  l.Alewdster, 
pimp  (1775).  2.  A  bully,  hector  (1592). 

Belt.  To  strike  below  the  belt,  to  act 
unfairly  ;  to  take  mean  advantage,  to 
stab  a  man  in  the  back. 

Bel  tinker.  A  beating,  drubbing.  As 
verb,  to  thrash,  beat  soundly. 

Bemused.  Fuddled,  in  the  stupid 
stage  of  drunkenness  :  see  Screwed  : 
usually  bemused  with  beer  (Pope). 

Ben.  1.  A  benefit,  performance  of 
which  the  receipts,  after  paying  ex- 
penses, are  devoted  to  one  person's 
special  use  or  benefit.  2.  A  fool :  see 
Buffle  (Orose).  3.  A  shortened  form  of 
Benjamin  (q.v.),  a  coat ;  also  of  Benjy 
(q.v.),  a  waistcoat.  To  stand  ben,  to 
stand  treat. 

Benar.     See  Bene. 

Benbouse.    Good  beer  (1567). 

Bench-babbler  (or  whistler).  A 
loafer,  one  who  sits  idly  on  a  bench : 
a  generic  reproach. 

Bencher.  A  frequenter  of  taverns, 
one  who  hulks  about  public  houses. 

Ben  Cull  (or  Cove).  A  friend, 
Pall  (q.v.),  companion. 

Bend.  To  tipple,  drink  hard  (Jamie- 
son)  (1758).  Above  one's  bend,  above 
one's  ability  (power  or  capacity),  out 
of  one's  reach,  above  one  s  hook :  in 
U.S. A.  above  my  huckleberry  (q.v.). 
Grecian  bend,  a  craze  amongst  women 
which  had  a  vogue  from  about  1872  to 
1880:  it  consisted  in  walking  with 



the  body  bent  forward.  On  the  bend, 
in  an  underhand,  oblique,  or  crooked 
way — not  on  the  square.  Bend  over 
(Winchester  College),  a  direction  to 
put  oneself  into  position  to  receive  a 
spanking :  this  is  done  by  bending 
over  so  that  the  tips  of  the  fingers  ex- 
tend towards  the  toes,  thus  presenting 
a  surface  as  tight  as  a  drum  for  castiga- 

Bender.  1.  A  sixpence  :  see  Rhino 
(1789).  2.  A  hard  and  persistent 
drinker,  a  tippler  (1728).  3.  In  public 
school  phraseology  a  stroke  of  the 
cane  administered  by  the  master  while 
the  culprit  bends  down  his  back.  4. 
The  arm.  5.  A  drinking  bout,  spree.  6. 
The  leg.  7.  The  bow-shaped  segment 
of  a  paper  kite.  Over  the  bender,  a 
variant  of  Over  the  left  shoulder. 
As  intj.,  an  exclamation  of  incredulity, 
also  used  as  a  kind  of  saving  clause  to 
a  promise  which  the  speaker  does  not 
intend  to  carry  into  effect. 

Bendigo.  A  rough  fur  cap  :  named 
after  a  notorious  pugilist. 

Bene,  Ben.  Good  :  this  belongs  to 
the  most  ancient  English  cant,  and  is 
probably  a  corruption  from  the  Latin  : 
benar  and  benat  appear  to  have  been 
used  as  comparatives  of  bene  (1567). 
Stowe  your  bene,  hold  your  tongue. 

Bene-bouze.     See  Benbouse. 

Bene-cove.     See  Ben-cull. 

Bene  Darkmans  !  Good-night ! 
French  thieves  say  sorgabon,  an  in- 
version of  bonne  sorgue. 

Benedick.  A  newly-married  man  ; 
especially  one  who  has  long  been  a 
bachelor.  Apparently,  however,  there 
is  some  confusion  in  the  usage,  for  it 
also  signifies  a  bachelor. 

Bene  Feakers.  Counterfeiters  of 
bills  (Grose). 

Bene  Feakers  of  Gybes.  Counter- 
feiters of  passes  (Grose). 

Bene  (or  Bien)  Mort.  A  fine  woman, 
pretty  girl,  hostess  (1567). 

Beneship.     See  Benship  (1567). 

Beneshiply.    Worshipfully. 

Ben-flake.    A  steak. 

Bengal  Tigers.  The  Seventeenth 
Foot,  now  the  Leicestershire  regiment : 
from  its  badge  of  a  royal  tiger  granted 
for  services  in  India  from  1804-1823  : 
also  called  The  Lily- Whites  from  its 

Bengi.    An  onion. 

Benish.     Foolish. 

Benjamin  (Winchester  College).    1. 

A  small  ruler.  2.  (thieves')  A  coat : 
said  to  have  been  derived  from  a  well- 
known  London  advertising  tailor  of 
the  same  name.  Upper  Benjamin,  a 
greatcoat  (1815). 

Ben  Joltram.  Brown  bread  and 
skimmed  milk ;  a  Norfolk  term  for  a 
ploughboy's  breakfast  (Hotten). 

Benjy.  1.  A  low  crowned  straw  hat 
having  a  very  broad  brim.  2.  A 
waistcoat:  also  Ben  (q.v.). 

Bens.    Tools. 

Benship  (or  Beenship).  Worship, 
goodness  :  this  word,  evidently  from 
Beneship  (q.v.),  is  given  by  Bailey 
(1728),  and  by  Coles  (1724),  As  adj., 
very  good  (1567). 

Beong.  A  shilling :  see  Rhino : 
from  Italian  bianco,  white ;  also  the 
name  of  a  silver  coin. 

Beray.  To  defile,  befoul,  abuse :  old 

Berkeleys.     A  woman's  breasts. 

Bermudas.  A  district  in  London, 
similar  to  Alsatia  in  Whitefriars  (q.v.), 
and  the  Mint  in  Southwark,  privileged 
against  arrests.  The  Bermudas  are 
thought  to  have  been  certain  narrow 
and  obscure  alleys  and  passages  north 
of  the  Strand,  near  Covent  Garden,  and 
contiguous  to  Drury  Lane. 

Berthas.  London,  Brighton,  and 
South  Coast  Railway  shares. 

Berwicks.  The  ordinary  stock  of  the 
North  Eastern  Railway. 

Besom.    A  low  woman. 

Besom-head.  A  blockhead,  fool: 
see  Buffle.  Whence  besom-headed. 

Besognio.  1.  A  raw  soldier.  2.  A 
needy  beggar.  3.  A  worthless  fellow. 

Bespeak-nigh  t.     A  benefit. 

Bess.     See  Betty. 

Bess-o'- Bedlam.  A  lunatic  vagrant. 

Best  To  best  one.  To  obtain  an 
advantage,  secure  a  superior  position 
in  a  contest  or  bargain,  to  worst,  but 
not  necessarily  to  cheat.  To  best  the 
pistol,  to  get  away  before  the  signal  for 
starting  is  actually  given.  To  give  one 
best,to  leave  one,  sever  companionship. 

Bester.  A  cheat,  swindler :  generally 
applied  to  a  turf  or  gaming  blackleg. 

Bet.  1.  To  bet  one's  eyes,  to  onlook, 
but  to  take  no  part  in,  nor  bet  upon 
the  game.  You  bet !  Be  assured,  cer- 
tainly. 2.  To  bet  round,  to  lay  fairly  and 
equally  against  nearly  all  the  horses  in 
a  race,  so  that  no  great  risk  can  be  run : 
commonly  called  getting  round  (Hot- 



Bethel.  In  the  year  1680  Bethel 
and  Cornish  were  chosen  sheriffs.  The 
former  used  to  walk  about  more  like  a 
corn-cutter  than  Sheriff  of  London. 
He  kept  no  house,  but  lived  upon 
chops,  whence  it  is  proverbial  for  not 
feasting  to  bethel  the  city  (North). 
Little  Bethel,  a  place  of  worship  other 
than  those  of  the  established  church  : 
in  contempt. 

Be  there.     See  There. 

Better.  More  :  there  is  no  idea  of 
superiority :  a  depraved  word,  once 
in  good  usage,  but  now  regarded  as  a 
vulgarism  (1587).  Better  half,  a  wife  : 
originally  my  better  half,  i.e.  the  more 
than  half  of  my  being ;  said  of  a  very 
close  and  intimate  friend :  formerly  also 
applied  to  the  soul,  as  the  better  part 
of  man  (Murray)  (1580). 

Be  t  tor  Roun  d.  One  who  is  addicted 
to  betting  round  :  see  Bet. 

Betty.  1.  A  man  who  occupies  him- 
self with  household  matters :  in  con- 
tempt. 2.  A  small  instrument  used 
by  burglars  to  force  open  doors  and 
pick  locks :  also  Bess,  now  called  a 
Jenny  (1671).  3.  A  Florence  flask: 
as  used  for  olive  oil.  As  verb  (collo- 
quial), to  potter  about,  fuss  about. 
All  betty  !  a  cry  of  warning,  it's  all  up, 
the  game  is  lost ! 

Betwattled.  Surprised,  confounded, 
out  of  one's  senses,  bewrayed  (Grose). 

Between.  Phrases:  Bet vxen thebeetle 
and  the  block,  in  parlous  state  ;  between 
the  cup  and  the  lip,  as  near  as  a  toucher 
(q.v.) ;  between  the  devil  and  the  Dead 
(or  deep  blue)  sea,  at  one's  last  resource, 
cornered  (q.v.) ;  between  the  bark  and 
the  wood  (or  tree),  see  Tree  ;  between  you 
and  me  and  the  bedpost ;  see  Bedpost. 

Beyer.  1.  Drink,  liquor.  2.  A 
potation,  drinking  bout,  a  time  for 
drinking.  3.  A  small  repast  between 
meals,  snack :  especially  a  snack 
between  mid-day  dinner  and  supper 
(1500).  Also  as  verb. 

Beverage  (or  Bevy).  A  tip,  vail : 
equivalent  to  the  FT.,  pourboire:  money 
for  drink,  demanded  (Grose)  of  any  one 
having  a  new  suit  of  clothes. 

Beware.  '  We  [strolling  actors]  call 
breakfast,  dinner,  tea,  supper,  all  of 
them,  numyare ;  and  all  beer, 
brandy,  water,  or  soup,  are  beware' 

Beyond.  The  back  of  beyond,  an 
out-of-the-way  place,  ever  so  far  off 

B  Flat  A  bug :  cf.  F  sharps  :  see 
Norfolk  Howards. 

Bib.  To  nap  a  bib  (or  one'' a  bib),  to 
weep,  blubber,  snivel,  Best  bib 
and  tucker,  best-clothes. 

Bibables  (or  Bibibles).  Drink,  as 
distinguished  from  food :  a  coinage 
on  the  model  of  edibles,  eatables, 
drinkables,  etc. 

Bib-all-night  A  toper,  confirmed 
drunkard  :  see  Lushington  (1612). 

Bible.  A  hand-axe,  a  small  holy-* 
stone  (a  kind  of  sand-stone  used  in 
cleaning  decks),  so  called  from  seamen 
using  them  kneeling  (Smyth).  That's 
bible,  that's  the  truth,  that's  A  1. 

Bible-carrier.  A  running  stationer 
(q.v.)  who  sells  songs  without  singing 
them:  once  often  heard  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Seven  Dials. 

Bible-clerk  (Winchester  College).  A 
College  prefect  in  full  power,  appointed 
for  one  week.  He  keeps  order  in 
school,  reads  the  lessons  in  chapel, 
takes  round  rolls  (q.v.),  and  assists  at 
floggings.  He  is  absolved  from  going  up 
to  books  (q.v. )  during  his  term  of  office. 
The  prefect  of  hall  need  not  act  as 
Bible-clerk  unless  he  likes,  and  the 
prefect  of  School  may  choose  any 
week  he  pleases ;  the  rest  take  weeks 
in  rotation,  in  the  order  of  their 
Chambers  in  College :  see  Bibler  and 

Bible-pounder  (sharp,  or  thumper). 
A  clergyman. 

Bibler  (Winchester  College). 
Now  called  Bibling  (q.v.).  BMer 
under  nail,  see  Bibling  under  nail. 

Bibling  (Winchester  College).  For- 
merly called  a  bibler.  A  flogging  of 
six  cuts  on  the  small  of  the  back,  ad- 
ministered by  the  head  or  second 
master.  So  called  because  the  person 
to  be  operated  upon  ordered  (q.v.)  hia 
name  to  the  Bible-clerk  (q.v.). 

Bibling-rod  (Winchester  College). 
The  instrument  with  which  a  bibling 
(q.v.)  was  administered.  It  consisted 
of  a  handle  with  four  apple  twigs  in 
the  end,  twisted  together.  It  is  re- 
presented on  Aut  Disce.  It  was 
invented  and  first  used  by  Warden 
Baker  in  1454.  It  is  not  used  now. 

Bibling  under  Nail  (Winchester 
College).  A  bibling  (q.v.)  administered 
for  very  heinous  offences  after  an 
offender  had  stood  under  nail  (q.v.). 

Biddy.  1.  A  chicken  :  sometimes 
chick-a-biddy.  2.  A  young  woman, 



Big  Wig. 

not  necessarily  Irish :  in  both  these 
senses  the  word  appears  in  Grose  (1785) 
Since  that  time  it  would  seem  to  have 
changed  somewhat  in  meaning  as 
follows.  3.  A  woman,  whether  young 
or  old.  4.  (Winchester  College).  See 
Bidet.  5.  (American).  A  servant 
girl — generally  Irish. 

Bidet  (or  Biddy)  (Winchester 
College).  A  bath. 

Bidstand.     A  highwayman  (1637). 

Bien.     See  Bene. 

Biff.  A  blow.  To  give  a  biff  in  the 
jaw,  to  smack  one's  face,  to  wipe  one 
in  the  chops. 

Biffin.  M y  biffin !  my  pal !  A 
biffin  is  properly  a  dried  apple,  cf. 

Big.  To  talk  (or  look)  big,  to  assume 
a  pompous  style  or  manner  with  a 
view  to  impressing  others  with  a  sense 
of  one's  importance ;  to  talk  loudly, 
boastingly :  Fr.,  se  hancher  (1579). 
Big  as  all  outdoors,  an  expression  in- 
tended to  convey  an  idea  of  indefinite 
size,  hugeness,  enormous  capacity. 

Big- bellied.  Advanced  in  preg- 
nancy (1711). 

Big  Ben.  A  nickname  for  the  clock 
in  the  tower  of  the  Houses  of  Parlia- 
ment at  Westminster  :  named  after  Sir 
Benjamin  Hall,  the  Commissioner  of 
Works,  under  whose  supervision  it 
was  constructed :  it  was  commenced 
in  1856,  and  finished  in  1857. 

Big  Bird.  To  get  (or  give)  the  big 
bird,  to  be  hissed  on  the  stage ;  or, 
conversely,  to  hiss. 

Big  Bug.  A  person  of  standing  (or 
consequence) :  a  common  mode  of 
allusion  to  persons  of  wealth  or  other 
claims  to  distinction :  variants  are 
Big-dog,  Big-toad,  Big- wig,  and  Great 
gun  (1854). 

Big  Country.     The  open  country. 

Big  Dog  of  the  lanyard.  A  conse- 
quential, pompous  individual;  one 
who  will  neither  allow  others  a  voice  in 
any  matter,  or  permit  dissent  from  his 
own  views. 

Big  Dog  with  the  Brass  Collar. 
The  chief  in  any  undertaking  or 
enterprise,  a  leader. 

Big  Drink.  1.  The  ocean:  more  par- 
ticularly applied  to  the  Atlantic  :  also 
called  the  Big  pond,  Herring  pond,  the 
Puddle  (q.v.).  2.  When  a  Western 
plainsman  talks  of  the  Big  drink  he  is 
always  understood  to  mean  the  Mis- 
sissippi river.  To  take  a  big  (or  long) 

drink,  to  partake  of  liquor  from  a  large 

Big-endian.  Anybody  or  anything 
of  importance. 

Big  Figure.  To  go  the  big  figure,  a 
variant  of  to  go  the  whole  hog,  or 
to  go  the  whole  animal. 

Biggest.  A  superlative  often  used  in 
the  sense  of  the  best  or  the  finest. 

Biggest  Toad  in  the  Puddle.  One  of 
the  many  bold,  if  equivocal,  metaphors 
to  which  the  West  has  given  rise. 
The  biggest  toad  in  the  puddle  is  the 
recognised  leader  or  chief,  whether 
in  politics  or  in  connection  with  the 
rougher  avocations  of  pioneer  life. 

B  i  g  g  i  t  y.  Consequential,  giving 
oneself  airs  :  a  negro  term. 

Big  Gun.    A  person  of  consequence. 

Big-head.  To  have  a  big-head.  1.  To 
be  conceited,  bumptious  :  also  applied 
to  those  who  are  cocksure  of  every- 
thing, or  affected  in  manner.  2.  The 
after  effect  of  a  debauch.  To  get  the 
big-head,  to  get  drunk  :  see  Screwed. 

Big  House.  The  workhouse :  some- 
times called  the  Large  House. 

Big  Mouth.  Excessive  talkative- 
ness, loquacity. 

Big  Nuts  to  crack.  An  undertaking 
of  magnitude,  one  not  easy  to  perform. 

Big  One  (or  Big  "Un).  A  man  of 
note  or  importance. 

Big  People.  Persons  of  standing 
or  consequence. 

Big  Pond.  The  Atlantic  :  also  The 
big  drink  (q.v.). 

Big  Pot.     A  person  of  consequence. 

Big-side  (Rugby  School).  The  com- 
bination of  all  the  bigger  fellows  in 
the  school  in  one  and  the  same  game 
or  run ;  also  the  ground  specially 
used  for  the  game  so  denominated : 
also  used  at  other  public  schools. 
Whence  Big-side  run,  a  paper  chase, 
in  which  picked  representatives  of  all 
houses  take  part,  as  opposed  to  a 
house  run. 

Big  Take.  That  which  takes  the 
public  fancy,  a  great  success,  etc., — 
in  short,  anything  that  catches  on. 

Big  Talk.  Pompous  speech,  a 
pedantic  use  of  long  words. 

Big  Wig.  A  person  of  consequence, 
one  high  in  authority  or  rank :  used 
both  contemptuously  and  humor- 
ously (1703).  Big-wigged,  pompous, 
consequential.  Big-wiggery,  a  display 
of  consequence,  or  pomposity.  Big- 
wiggism,  pomposity. 

Big  Words. 

Big  Words.  Pompous  speech, 
crack  jaw  words. 

Bike.    Short  for  bicycle  :  cf.  Trike. 

Bilbo  (or  Bilboa).  (1)  A  sword: 
Bilbao  in  Spain  was  once  renowned  for 
well  •  tempered  blades.  Hence  (2)  a 
sword  personified,  especially  that  of  a 
bully.  Bilbo's  the  word,  Beware,  a  blow 
will  follow  the  word.  Bilbo-lord,  a 
bully.  Also  (3)  a  kind  of  stock — a  long 
iron  bar  with  sliding  shackles  for  the 
ankle,  and  a  lock  by  which  to  fasten  the 
bar  at  one  end  to  the  ground  (1567). 

Bile.     A  vulgarism  for  boil. 

Bilgewater.     Bad  beer. 

Bilk.  A  word,  formerly  in  general 
use,  to  which  a  certain  stigma  of  vul- 
garity is  now  attached.  Uncertain  in 
derivation — possibly  a  corrupted  form 
of  balk — it  was  first  employed  tech- 
nically at  cribbage  to  signify  the 
spoiling  of  an  adversary's  score  in  the 
crib.  Among  obsolete  or  depraved 
usages  may  be  mentioned.  1.  A  state- 
ment or  string  of  words  without  sense, 
truth,  or  meaning  (1663).  2.  A  hoax, 
imposition,  humbug  (1664).  3.  A 
swindler,  cheat :  this  is  the  most 
familiar  current  use  of  the  word  in  ita 
substantive  form,  and  is  applied 
mainly  to  persons  who  cheat  cabmen 
of  their  fares,  and  such  like :  also 
Bilker  (1790).  4.  A  person  who 
habitually  sponges  upon  another,  and 
who  never  by  any  chance  makes  a 
return  or  even  offers  to  do  so.  As 
adj.,  fallacious,  without  truth  or 
meaning  (1740).  As  verb,  to  cheat, 
defraud,  evade  one's  obligations, 
escape  from,  etc.  (1677).  To  bilk  the 
bluet,  to  evade  the  police.  To  bilk  the 
schoolmaster,  to  obtain  knowledge  or 
experience  without  paying  for  it  ( 1821 ). 

Bilker.  A  cheat,  swindler :  see  Bilk. 

Bilking.     Cheating,  swindling. 

BUI  (Eton  College).  1.  A  list  of  boys 
who  have  to  go  to  the  headmaster  at 
12  o'clock  ;  also  of  those  who  get  off 
Absence  (q.v.),  or  names-calling  :  e.g. 
an  eleven  playing  in  a  match  are  thus 
exempt.  2.  (Harrow  School).  Names- 
calling.  To  hang  up  a  bill,  to  pass  it 
through  one  or  more  of  its  stages,  and 
then  to  lay  it  aside  and  defer  ita 
further  consideration  for  a  more  or 
lees  indefinite  period.  To  rush  a  bill, 
to  expedite  the  passing  of  a  bill 
through  the  Senate  and  Congress. 
To  hold  with  bill  in  the  water,  to  keep 
in  suspense.  Long  (or  short)  bill,  a 

long  (or  short)  term  of  imprisonment. 
To  pay  a  bill  at  sight,  said  of  a  man  or 
woman  who  is  always  ready  for  action. 
To  bill  up,  to  be  confined  to  barracks. 

Bill  brighter  (Winchester  College). 
A  small  fagot  used  for  lighting  coal  fires 
in  Kitchen :  so  called  from  a  servant 
Bill  Bright,  who  was  living  in  1830. 

Billet.  A  situation,  berth.  To  get  a 
billet,  amongst  prisoners  to  obtain 
promotion  to  duties  which  carry  with 
them  certain  privileges. 

Billiard  Block.  One  who  puts  up 
with  disagreeables  for  the  sake  of 
pecuniary  or  other  advantages;  also, 
occasionally,  a  jackal  (q.v.),  a  tame 
cat  (q.v.). 

Billiard-slum.     False  pretences. 

Billingsgate.  Coarse  language,  scur- 
rilous abuse  :  from  the  evil  reputation 
which  the  market  of  the  same  name 
has  enjoyed  for  centuries.  In  the 
seventeenth  century  references  to  the 
violent  and  abusive  speech  of  those 
frequenting  the  place  were  very 
numerous  (1652).  In  French  an 
analogous  reference  is  made  to  the 
Place  Maubert,  also  long  noted  for 
its  noisy  market  To  Billingsgate  (or 
talk  Billingsgate),  to  scold,  talk  coarsely 
(or  violently),  slang  (q.v.)-  So 
also,  You're  no  better  than  a  Billings- 
gate fishfag,  i.e.  rude  and  ill-mannered. 
Billingsgatry,  scurrilous  language. 

Billingsgate  Pheasant.  A  red 
herring  (or  bloater),  a  two-eyed  steak. 

Bill  of  Sale.     Widow's  weeds. 

Billy.  1.  A  pocket  handkerchief 
(or  neckerchief) :  chiefly  of  silk :  the 
various  fancies  have  been  thus 
described  :  —  Belcher,  darkish  blue 
ground,  large  round  white  spots,  with 
a  spot  in  the  centre  of  darker  blue  than 
the  ground  :  this  was  adopted  by  Jem 
Belcher,  the  pugilist,  as  his  colours, 
and  soon  became  popular  amongst  the 
fancy ;  Bird's  -  eye  wipe,  a  hand- 
kerchief of  any  colour,  containing 
white  spots :  the  blue  bird's-eye  is 
similar  to  the  Belcher  except  in  the 
centre :  sometimes  a  bird's-eye  wipe 
has  a  white  ground  and  blue  spots ; 
Blood-red  fancy,  red  ;  Blue  Billy,  blue 
ground,  generally  with  white  figures  ; 
Cream  fancy,  any  pattern  on  a  white 
ground  ;  King's  man,  yellow  pattern 
on  a  green  ground  ;  Randal's  man, 
green,  with  white  spots  :  named  after 
the  favourite  colours  of  Jack  Randal, 
pugilist ;  Water's  man,  sky  coloured ; 

BUly  Barlow. 


Yellow  fancy,  yellow  with  white  spots  ; 
Yellow  man,  all  yellow.  2.  Stolen 
metal.  3.  A  weapon :  usually  com- 
posed of  a  piece  of  untanned  cowhide, 
as  hard  as  horn  itself,  some  six  inches 
in  length,  twisted  or  braided  into  a 
sort  of  handle,  and  covered  from  end 
to  end  with  woollen  cloth :  one  ex- 
tremity is  loaded  with  lead  ;  to  the 
other  is  firmly  attached  a  loop,  large 
enough  to  admit  a  man's  hand,  formed 
of  strong  linen  cord,  and  intended  to 
allow  the  billy  to  hang  loose  from  the 
wrist,  and  at  the  same  time  prevent 
it  being  lost  or  wrenched  from  the 
grasp  of  its  owner.  4.  A  policeman's 
staff,  truncheon.  6.  A  bushman'a 
tea-pot  or  saucepan.  6.  A  companion, 
comrade,  mate  (1505).  7.  A  fellow 
(1774).  8.  A  brother ;  hence  Billyhood, 
brotherhood  (1724). 

Billy  Barlow.  A  street  clown, 
mountebank  :  from  the  hero  of  a  slang 
song — Billy  was  a  real  person,  semi- 
idiotic,  and  though  in  dirt  and  rags, 
fancied  himself  a  swell  of  the  first 
water ;  occasionally  he  came  out  with 
real  witticisms  ;  he  was  a  well-known 
street  character  about  the  East-end 
of  London,  and  died  in  Whitechapel 
Workhouse  (1851). 

Billy  blinder.    Ahoodwinker. 

Billy-boy.  A  vessel  like  a  galliot, 
with  two  masts,  the  fore-mast  square- 
rigged  :  they  hail  mainly  from  Goole : 
also  called  Humber-keels. 

Billy -button.  1.  Mutton.  2.  A 
journeyman  tailor. 

Billy  Buzman.  A  thief  whose 
speciality  ia  silk  pocket-  and  necker- 

Billy-cock.  A  round,  low-crowned 
hat — generally  of  soft  felt,  and  with  a 
broad  brim.  The  Billy-cock  of  the 
Antipodean  colonies  differs  from  the 
English  headgear  known  by  the  name 
in  being  made  of  hard  instead  of  soft 
felt,  and  in  having  a  turned-up  brim. 

Billy-fencer.  A  marine  store  dealer. 

Billy-goat.  A  tufted  beard ;  similar 
to  that  of  a  goat. 

Billy-hunting.  1.  Collecting  and 
buying  old  metal.  2.  Stealing  pocket- 

Billy  Noodle.  A  ladykiller,  con- 
ceited ass. 

Billy-roller.     A  long  stout  stick. 

Bim,  Bimshire.  A  Barbadian:  the 
island  of  Barbadoes  :  this  place  is  also 
jeeringly  called  Little  England. 

Bing.     See  Bynge  a  waste. 

Binge.     A  drinking  bout. 

Bingham's  Dandies.  The  17th 

Bingo.  Brandy,  or  other  spirituous 
liquor :  thought  to  be  a  humorous 
formation  from  B.  for  brandy  (cf.  B. 
and  S.)  and  stingo  (Grose).  Hence, 
Bingo  boy,  a  tippler,  drunkard  ;  Bingo 
mort,  a  drunken  woman. 

Bingy.  Bad,  ropy  butter ;  nearly 
equivalent  to  vinnied  (q.v.):  in  the 
English  Dialect  Society's  Chester 
Glossary,  bingy  is  given  as  a  peculiar 
clouty  or  frowsty  taste  in  milk — the 
first  stage  of  turning  sour. 

Binnacle  Word.  A  fine  (or  affected) 
word,  which  sailors  jeeringly  offer  to 
chalk  up  upon  the  binnacle  (Grose). 

Birch  -  broom.  A  room.  Like  a 
birch-broom  in  a  fit,  said  of  a  rough 
towzly  head. 

Birchin  Lane.  To  send  one  to 
Birchin  Lane,  to  castigate,  flog :  cf. 
Strap  oil,  etc. 

Birch-oil.  A  thrashing :  cf.  Strap- 
oil,  Hazel- oil,  etc. 

Bird.  When  a  play  is  hissed  the 
actors  say  The  bird's  there  !  see  Goose. 
As  verb,  to  thieve,  steal,  look  for 
plunder :  used  by  Ben  Jonson.  A 
bird  of  one's  own  brain,  one's  own 
conception.  The  bird  in  the  bosom, 
one's  secret  pledge,  conscience.  Birds 
of  a  feather,  of  like  character.  Also 
proverbs  and  proverbial  sayings — 
Some  beat  the  bush  and  others  take 
the  bird ;  A  child's  bird  and  a 
knave's  wife  lead  a  sore  life ;  The 
bird  that  fouleth  its  own  nest  is  not 
honest,  A  bird  in  hand  is  worth  three 
in  the  wood  (or  bush) ;  An  old 
bird  is  not  caught  with  chaff ;  To 
kill  two  birds  with  one  stone ;  The 
early  bird  catches  the  worm. 

Bird-cage.  1.  A  bustle,  an  article 
of  feminine  attire,  used  for  extending 
the  skirts  of  the  dress :  at  one  time  con- 
structed of  such  a  size  and  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  be  not  altogether  unlike 
an  elongated  bird-cage :  among  Eng- 
lish synonyms  may  be  mentioned 
canary  cage,  backstaircase,  false  here- 
after, bishop.  2.  A  four-wheeled  cab. 
3.  The  paddock  at  the  Newmarket 
race-course  where  saddling  takes  place. 

Birdlime.  1.  Time.  2.  A  thief 

Bird's  -  eye  (Bird's  -  eye  Fogle, 
Bird's-eye  Wipe).  A  silk  handker- 


chief  spotted  with  eye-like  markings : 
see  Billy  (1665). 

Birdsnye.  An  endearment :  cf. 

Bird-witted.  Inconsiderate, 
thoughtless,  easily  imposed  on  (Grose) 

Birk.     A  crib  (q.v.),  i.e.  a  house. 

Birthday  Suit  Nudity,  buff 
(q.v.) :  FT.,  en  sauvage  (1771). 

Bishop.  1.  A  warm  drink :  wine, 
orange  (or  lemon),  peel,  and  sugar — 
but  variously  compounded  (1703).  2. 
A  bustle  (q.v.) :  a  pad  worn  on  the 
back  part  of  the  waist,  and  designed 
to  give  prominence  to  the  skirt :  see 
Bird-cage  (1848).  3.  A  chamber- 
pot, jerry,  Jordan,  it  (q.v.).  4.  (Win- 
chester College).  The  sapling  with 
which  a  fagot  is  bound  together.  As 
verb,  (1)  to  burn  marks  into  a  horse's 
teeth,  after  he  has  lost  them  by  age  ; 
or,  by  other  deceptive  arts  to  give  a 
good  appearance  to  a  bad  horse :  by 
bishopping,  a  horse  is  made  to  appear 
younger  than  he  is  :  the  expression  is 
derived  from  the  name  of  a  person  who 
initiated  the  practice ;  (2)  to  murder 
by  drowning :  now  obsolete :  like 
Burke  and  Boycott  from  the  name  of 
an  individual ;  a  man  named  Bishop 
drowned  a  boy  in  Bethnal  Green,. in 
1831,  to  sell  the  body  for  dissecting 

Bismarquer.  To  cheat,  play  foul  at 
cards  (or  billiards) :  the  policy  of  Prince 
Bismarck,  the  German  Chancellor,  in 
1865-66  roused  the  indignation  of 

Bit,  Bite,  Byte,  1.  Money: 
see  Rhino  (1532).  2.  A  coin  varying 
in  value  according  to  locality — usually, 
however,  to  the  silver  piece  of  the 
lowest  denomination.  Four  •  penny 
pieces  are  still  called  bits  in  English, 
though  more  popularly  known  as 
Joeys  (q.v.)  (1748).  3.  In  disparage- 
ment—otto  of  girls,  bits  of  children, 
bit  of  a  place,  bit  of  one's  mind,  candid 
(and  uncomplimentary)  criticism, 
opinion,  etc.  Bitwise,  little  by  little. 

Bitch,  subs.  (low).  1.  A  woman : 
not  now  in  literary  use,  though  for- 
merly so  (1400).  2.  A  man  :  it  has  long 
since  passed  out  of  decent  usage  (1500). 
As  verb,  (1)  to  yield  (or  give  up  an 
attempt)  through  fear  (Grose).  (2)  to 
spoil,  bungle.  To  stand  bitch,  to  make 
tea,  or  do-  the  honours  of  the  tea  table, 
or  to  perform  a  woman's  duty. 

Bitch  Booby.  A  country  girl 

Bitch-daughter.  The  night- 

Bitch-fou.  Very  drank,  beastly 
drunk  :  see  Screwed. 

Bitch  Party.  A  party  composed  of 
women  :  originally  an  Oxford  term  for 
a  tea-party  :  cf.  Hen-party  (q.v.),  and 

Bite.  1.  Money :  generic  :  see  Bit 
and  Rhino.  2.  An  imposition,  piece 
of  humbug,  sell,  do :  cf.  Bilk,  Bam, 
Bargain,  and  Sell :  the  sense  runs 
through  all  stages,  from  jocular  hoax- 
ing to  downright  swindling ;  also  in 
the  sense  of  disappointment,  as  in  the 
old  proverb,  the  biter  bit  (1711).  3. 
A  sharper,  cheat,  trickster  (1742).  4. 
Applied  in  a  transferred  sense  to  any- 
body or  anything  suspected  of  being 
different  to  what  it  appears,  but  not 
necessarily  in  a  bad  sense.  5.  One 
who  drives  a  hard  bargain,  a  close 
fist  6.  A  Torkshireman.  7.  An 
irregular  white  spot  on  the  edge  or 
corner  of  a  printed  page,  caused  by 
the  frisket  not  being  sufficiently  cut 
out  (1677).  As  verb,  (1)  to  deceive, 
cheat,  swindle,  do,  or  take  in :  for- 
merly used  both  transitively  and  pas- 
sively ;  now  only  in  latter  (1699) ;  (2) 
to  strike  a  hard  bargain  ;  (3)  to  steal ; 
e.g.  to  bite  the  roger,  to  steal  a  port- 
manteau, to  bite  the  wiper,  to  pur- 
loin a  handkerchief.  As  intj.,  (1) 
formerly  an  equivalent  to  the  modern 
Sold!  Done!  etc.  (1704);  (2) 
(Charterhouse).  A  warning  Cave ! 
To  do  a  thing  when  the  maggot  bites,  to  do 
it  when  the  fancy  takes  one,  at  one's 
own  sweet  will.  To  bite  one's  hips,  to 
regret  a  word  or  action.  To  bite  one's 
name  in,  to  drink  heavily,  tipple,  drink 
greedily.  To  bite  on  the  bridle,  to  be 
pinched  in  circumstances,  reduced, 
in  difficulties.  Phrases  :  To  bite  upon 
the  bridle,  to  wait  impatiently,  like  a 
restless  horse  ;  To  bite  the  dust  (ground, 
sand),  etc.,  to  die ;  to  bite  the  tongue, 
to  repress  speech  ;  to  bite  the  thumb  at, 
(1)  'To  threaten  or  defie  by  putting 
the  thumbe  naile  into  the  mouth,  and 
with  a  ierke  (from  the  upper  teeth) 
make  it  to  knack '  (Cotgrave) ;  (2)  to 
insult ;  to  bite  one's  ear,  to  caress  fondly ; 
to  bite  the  ear,  to  borrow. 

Biter.  1.  A  practical  joker,  hoaxer, 
one  who  deceives,  a  cheat  and  trickster : 
the  term  now  only  survives  in  the 




proverbial  expression,  the  biter  bit 
(1669).  2.  A  wanton. 

Bite-up.  An  unpleasant  altercation. 

Bit-faker  (or  Turner-out).  A  coiner 
of  bad  money. 

Bit- faking.  Manufacturing  base 
coin,  counterfeiting. 

Bi ting-up.  Grieving  over  a  loss  (or 

Bit- maker.     A  counterfeiter. 

Bit-o'-bull.  Beef :  Fr.,  gobet  ;  for- 
merly, a  dainty  morsel. 

Bit  of  blood.  A  spirited  horse 
thoroughbred  (1819). 

Bit  of  cavalry.     A  horse  (1821). 

Bit  of  ebony.  A  negro  (or  negress), 
snowball  (q.v.). 

Bit  o  f  fat.  1.  An  unexpected 
advantage  in  a  transaction.  2.  See 

Bit  of  jam.     See  Jam. 

Bit  of  leaf.     Tobacco. 

Bit  of  muslin.  A  young  girl, 
a  woman  :  see  Petticoat. 

Bit  of  mutton.  A  woman, 
cf.  Laced  mutton. 

Bit  of  sticks.      A  corpse. 

Bitofstiff.  A  bank-note  (or 
other  paper  money),  the  equivalent  of 
money  when  not  in  specie,  i.e.  a 
draft  or  bill  of  exchange  (1854). 
Hence,  to  do  a  bit  of  stiff,  to  accept  a 

Bit  of  stuff.  An  overdressed 
man,  man  with  full  confidence  in  his 
appearance  and  abilities  ;  also  a  young 

Bitter.  A  glass  of  beer.  To  do  a 
bitter,  to  drink  a  glass  of  bitter : 
originally  (says  Hotten)  an  Oxford 
term  :  varied  by,  to  do  a  beer. 

Bittock.  A  distance  of  very  un- 
decided length :  if  a  North  country- 
man be  asked  the  distance  to  a  place, 
he  will  most  probably  reply,  a  mile 
and  a  bittock  :  the  latter  may  be  con- 
sidered any  distance  from  one  hundred 
yards  to  ten  miles  :  also  of  time. 

Biz.  Business,  employment,  occu- 
pation :  Good  biz,  profitable  busi- 

B.  K.  S.  Barracks :  used  by  officers 
in  mufti,  who  do  not  wish  to  give  their 

Blab,  subs,  (vulgar).  1.  A  babbler : 
a  depraved  word,  once  in  common  use, 
but  rarely  employed  now,  except 
colloquially.  2.  Loose  talk,  chatter. 
Also  as  verb  and  in  various  com- 
pounds and  allied  forms,  such  as  blab- 

ber, blabbing,  blabbing  -  book,  etc. 
— a  taint  of  vulgarism  now  rests  upon 
them  all. 

Black.  1.  A  poacher  working  with 
a  blackened  face  (1722).  2.  A  mute 
(1619).  Phrases:  To  look  black,  to 
frown,  look  angrily ;  to  say  black  is 
any  one's  eye  (eyebrow,  nail,  etc.),  to 
find  fault,  lay  to  charge ;  black-babbling, 
malicious  talk. 

Black  Act.     Black  art  (q.v.). 

Blackamoor.  \.  A  negro,  any  dark- 
skinned  person ;  originally  not  in 
depreciation,  but  now  a  nickname 
(1547).  2.  A  devil,  demon,  evil  spirit 

Blackamoor's  Teeth.  Cowrie  shells 
— the  currency  of  some  savage  tribes 

Black-and-tan.  Porter  (or  stout) 
and  ale,  mixed  in  equal  quantities. 

Black-and-tan  country.  The 
Southern  States  of  North  America. 

Black  and  White.  The  black 
characters  of  print  or  writing  on  white 
paper.  Hence,  to  put  a  thing  down  in 
black  and  white,  to  preserve  it  in  writ- 
ing or  in  print :  black  on  white  is  a 
variant  (1596). 

Black -apronry.  The  clerical  and 
legal  professions  (1832). 

Black  -  art.  1.  Picking  of  locks, 
burglary  (1591).  2.  The  business  of 
an  undertaker. 

Black-ball.     See  Pill. 

Blackballing.  Stealing,  pilfering : 
a  sailor's  word  :  it  originated  amongst 
the  employees  of  the  old  Black  Ball 
line  of  steamers  between  New  York 
and  Liverpool — the  cruelty  and  scan- 
dalous conduct  of  officers  to  men,  and 
sailors  to  each  other,  were  so  proverb- 
ial, that  the  line  of  vessels  in  question 
became  known  all  over  the  world  for 
the  cruelty  of  its  officers,  and  the 
thieving  propensities  of  its  sailors. 

Blackbeetles.  The  lower  strata  of 
society  (1821). 

Blackberry  swagger.  A  hawker 
of  tapes,  boot-laces,  etc. 

Blackbird.  Formerly  a  captive 
on  board  a  slaver ;  now  generally 
understood  as  referring  to  a  Poly- 
nesian indentured  labourer,  who,  if 
not  by  name  a  slave,  is  often  one  to  all 
intents  and  purposes.  As  verb,  to  cap- 
ture negroes  or  Polynesians,  to  kidnap. 

B 1  a  c  k  -  bir  der s.  Kidnappers  for 
labour  purposes  on  the  islands  of  the 




Black- book.  To  be  in  the  black  books, 
to  be  in  disgrace,  have  incurred  dis- 
pleasure, to  be  out  of  favour. 

Black  box.     A  lawyer  (Grow}. 

Black- boy.     See  Blackcoat 

Black  Bracelets.  Handcuffs :  see 
Darbies  (1839). 

Black-cattle.  1.  Clergymen,  par- 
sons. 2.  lace,  active  citizens  (q.v.), 
chates  (q.v.). 

Black-cattle  Show.  A  gathering  of 

Black-coat     A  parson  (1627). 

Black-country.  Parts  of  Stafford- 
shire and  Warwickshire  blackened  by 
the  coal  and  iron  industries  (1834). 

Black-cuffs.  The  Fifty-eighth  Foot: 
now  the  second  battalion  of  the  North- 
amptonshire Regiment ;  from  the 
regimental  facings,  which  have  been 
black  since  1767  :  also  nicknamed  the 
steel  backs  (q.v.). 

Black  Diamonds.  1.  Coals  (1849). 
2.  A  rough  (but  clever  or  good)  person  : 
this  has  given  place  to  rough  diamond 

Black  Dog.  1.  Applied,  circa  1702- 
30,  to  a  counterfeit  shilling  and  other 
base  silver  coinage.  2.  Delirium 
tremens,  the  horrors,  jim  jams : 
black  dog  is  frequently  used  for  de- 
pression of  spirits,  and  melancholy: 
when  a  child  is  sulky,  it  is  said,  the 
black  dog  is  on  his  back :  among 
the  ancients  a  black  dog  and  its  pups 
were  considered  an  evU  omen.  To 
Hush  like  a  black  dog,  not  to  blush 
at  all,  to  be  shameless  (1634). 

Black  Doll.     See  Dolly  shop. 

Black-eye.  To  give  a  bottle  a 
black  eye,  to  empty  it 

Black -eyed  Susan.  Texan  for  a 
revolver :  among  other  slang  equiva- 
lents for  this  weapon  current  in  the 
Lone  Star  State  may  be  mentioned, 
Meat  in  the  pot,  Blue  lightning,  The 
peace-maker,  Mr.  Speaker,  One-eyed 
scribe,  Pill  box,  and  My  unconverted 

Black-fellow.  An  Australian 
aboriginal  (1831). 

Black- fly.  A  clergyman:  see 
Devil-dodger  (1811). 

Black- foot  A  go-between, 
match-maker  (1814). 

Blackfriars.    Look  out !     Beware  ! 

Black  Friday.  1.  The  day  on  which 
Overend,  Gurney,  &  Co.  suspended 
pay mentr— 10th  May  1886:  cf.  Blue 
Monday  (1750).  2.  The  Monday  on 

which  the  death  penalty  is  carried 
out ;  these  events  are  (or  were)  gener- 
ally arranged  to  fall  on  the  day  in 

Black-gown.  A  collegian,  learned 
man  (17 10). 

Blackguard,  subs,  (common).  A 
man  coarse  in  speech,  and  offensive  in 
manner,  scamp,  scoundrel,  disreput- 
able fellow  :  the  term,  as  now  used,  is 
one  of  opprobrium,  and  although  a 
good  deal  of  uncertainty  hangs  about 
its  history  and  derivation,  it  seems 
pretty  clear  that  a  certain  amount  of 
odium  has  always  been  attached  to 
the  word  (1532).  As  adj.,  of  or  per- 
taining to  a  blackguard,  to  the  scum 
or  refuse  of  society,  vile,  vicious  ( 1 760). 
As  verb,  to  act  like  a  rufnan,use  filthy 
(or  scurrilous)  language,  play  the 
vagabond  (or  scoundrel). 

Black  Hole.  1.  Cheltenham,  from 
the  number  of  retired  Anglo-Indians 
who  live  there  :  cf.  Asia  Minor.  2.  A 
barrack  punishment-cell  (or  lock-up), 
guard-room :  the  official  designation 
till  1868. 

Black  Horse.  The  Seventh  Dra- 
goon Guards  :  so  called  from  the  regi- 
mental facings,  black  on  scarlet : 
occasionally  The  Blacks.  During  the 
reign  of  George  II.,  the  corps  was 
known  as  The  Virgin  Mary's  Guard, 
and  is  often  called  Strawboots  (q.v.). 

Black  House.  A  place  of  business 
where  hours  are  long,  and  wages  at 
starvation  rates  ;  a  sweating  house. 

Black-humour.     Melancholy. 

Black  Indies.  Newcastle-on-Tyne : 
from  its  trade,  coal :  the  term  is  now 
obsolete,  but  it  was  in  common  use 
at  the  latter  part  of  the  eighteenth 

Black  Jack.  1.  A  leathern  jug  for 
beer,  usually  holding  two  gallons 
(1591).  2.  A  black  leather  jerkin 

Black  job.     A  funeral. 

Blackleg.  1.  A  turf  swindler, 
rook,  welcher  ;  also  one  who  cheats  at 
cards  or  billiards :  origin  unknown : 
although  many  speculations  have  been 
hazarded,  none  are  satisfactory  (1771). 

2.  A  workman  who,  when  his  fellows 
are  on  strike,  is  willing  to  go  on  working. 

3.  Also  any  one  failing  or  refusing  to 
join  his  fellows  in  combination  for  a 
given  purpose.     As  verb,  to  boycott, 
to  make  things  so  uncomfortable  for  a 
man  that  he  is  compelled  to  leave  hi* 




work  or  the  town.  To  blackleg  it, 
amongst  trades'  union  men  to  return 
to  work  before  the  causes  of  a  strike 
have  been  removed  (or  settled)  to  the 
satisfaction  of  the  leaders. 

Black-leggism,  Black-legger7. 
Cheating,  swindling,  the  arts  and 
practices  of  a  blackleg  (q.v.)  (1832). 

Black-letter  Day.  An  inauspicious 
day  :  cf.  Red-letter  day. 

Black  Literature.  That  printed  in 
black  letter  (1797). 

Blackmail  (or  rent).  An  illegal 
tribute  (1533). 

Black  -  man  (Black  Gentleman). 
The  devil  (1606). 

Blackmans.     See  Darkmans. 

Black  Maria.  A  prison  van  or 
omnibus  :  used  for  the  conveyance  of 
prisoners :  the  origin  of  the  phrase  is 
unknown.  A  variant  is  Sable  Maria. 

Black  Monday.  A  schoolboys' 
term  for  the  Monday  on  which,  after 
holidays,  school  re-opens. 

Black  Mouth.  A  foul-mouthed 
person,  a  slanderer.  Hence  black- 
mouthed,  calumnious. 

Black  -  mummer.  One  unwashed 
and  unshorn. 

Black-neb.  A  person  of  democratic 
sympathies  at  the  time  of  the  French 

Black -nob.  A  non-unionist,  one 
who  (while  his  fellows  are  on  strike) 
persists  in  working  at  his  trade,  a 
blackleg  (q.v.). 

Black  Ointment.    Uncooked  meat. 

Black- pot.  A  toper,  tippler,  Lush- 
ington  (q.v.)  (1594). 

Black  Psalm.  To  sing  the  black 
psalm,  to  cry ;  a  saying  used  to  children 

Blacks.     See  Black  horse. 

Black  Sal  (or  Suke).     A  kettle. 

Black  Sanctus.  A  burlesque  hymn 
or  anthem,  rough  music. 

Black  Saturday.  A  Saturday  on 
which  an  artisan  or  mechanic  has  no 
money  to  take,  having  anticipated  it 
by  advances. 

Black  Sheep.  A  scapegrace,  bad 
lot ;  mauvais  sujet :  also  applied  like 
blackleg  and  black-nob  to  workmen 
who  persist  in  working  when  their 
comrades  are  on  strike.  As  verb  (Win- 
chester College) :  when  a  fellow  in 
Junior  Part  got  above  (or  jockeyed) 
a  fellow  in  Middle  Part. 

Blacksmith's  Daughter.  A  key: 
formerly  the  key  with  which  the  doors 

of  sponging  houses  were  unlocked : 
also  Locksmith's  daughter. 

Black-snake.     A  long  whip-lash. 

Black-  spice  Racket.  Robbing 
chimney  sweepers  of  their  tools,  bag, 
and  soot  (Lexicon  Ealatronicum). 

Black  Spy.     The  devil :  Fr.,  dache. 

Black-strap.  1.  Thick,  sweet  port. 
2.  Properly  speaking,  gin  mixed  with 
molasses,  but  frequently  applied  to 
a  compound  of  any  alcoholic  liquor 
with  molasses :  beverages  of  this 
description  were  at  one  time  the 
commonest  of  drinks  among  agricul- 
tural labourers.  3.  A  task  of  labour 
imposed  on  soldiers  at  Gibraltar  as  a 
punishment  for  small  offences  (Grose). 

Black-teapot.     A  negro  footman. 

Black  Watch  (The).  The  42nd 
Foot ;  now  the  Royal  Highlanders : 
from  the  colour  of  the  dress. 

Blackwork.  Undertaking :  waiters 
at  public  dinners  are  often  employed 
during  the  day  as  mutes. 

Blacky.    A  negro  :  cf.  Darky. 

Bladder.  A  pretentious  person, 
windbag  (q.v.). 

Bladderdash.  Nonsense,  bunkum 
(q.v.),  spoof  (q.v.):  a  portmanteau 
word — bladder  balderdash. 

Bladder  of  Lard.  A  bald-headed 

Bladderskate.     See  Bletherskate. 

Blade.  A  roysterer,  gallant, 
sharp,  keen,  free-and-easy  man,  good 
fellow  (1595). 

Blamed.  Used  to  emphasize  a 
statement :  it  partakes  of  the  nature 
of  an  oath,  being  often  used  instead 
of  doomed  or  damned :  in  America 
the  expression  is  more  of  a  collo- 
quialism than  it  is  in  England  (1835). 
Hence,  Blame  it  I  a  round  -  about 

Blamenation !     Damnation ! 

Blandiloquence.  Smooth,  flattering 
speech,  carneying  (q.v.).  Hence 
Blandiloquous,  smooth-speaking,  flat- 
tering (1615). 

Blank  (Blanked,  Blankety). 
Euphemistic  oaths :  clearly  an  out- 
come of  the  practice  of  representing 
an  oath,  for  decency's  sake,  in  printing, 
by  a  dash  or  blank  space  ;  e.g.  d a. 

Blank  -  charter.  Liberty  to  do 
as  one  likes. 

Blank  cheque.     Unlimited  credit. 

Blanket.  Lawful  blanket ;  a  wife  : 
see  Dutch.  Wet-blanket,  any  thing  or 
person  that  discourages,  a  damper 


Blanket  Fair. 


(q.v.)  (1830).  Born  on  the  wrong  side 
of  the  blanket,  illegitimate  (1771). 

Blanket  Fair.  Bed:  cf.  Bedford- 
shire, Sheet  Alley,  and  Land  of  Nod. 

Blanket-love.  Illicit  amours  (1649). 

Blarmed.  A  euphemism  for 
blessed  (q.v.) ;  damned ;  bio  wed 
(q.v.) ;  or  blamed  (q.v.),  of  the  last  of 
which  it  is  probably  a  corruption. 

Blarm  me  1     A  euphemistic  oath. 

Blarney.  Blandishment,  soft 
speech,  or  sawder,  gross  flattery, 
gammon.  [From  Castle  Blarney  in 
Ireland,  in  the  wall  of  which,  difficult  of 
access,  is  placed  a  stone.  Whoever  is 
able  to  kiss  this  is  said  thereafter  to  be 
able  to  persuade  to  anything  (Grose).] 
As  verb,  (1)  to  wheedle,  coax,  flatter 
grossly ;  (2)  to  pick  locks  (American 

Blasted.  Execrable,  confounded  : 
Grose  has  bloated  fellow  for  an  aban- 
doned rogue  (1682). 

Blatantation.  Noisy  effusion, 

Blater.  A  calf :  probably  a  cor- 
ruption of  bleater  (1714). 

Blather.  Noisy  talk,  voluble  non- 
sense :  cf.  Blether.  As  verb,  to  talk 
volubly,  noisily,  nonsensically. 

Blatherskite.  1.  Boastful  dis- 
putatious swagger :  cf.  Bletherskite. 
2.  A  swaggerer,  boaster,  one  who  talks 
volubly  and  nonsensically. 

Blayney's  Bloodhounds.  The 
Eighty-ninth  Foot,  now  the  second 
battalion  of  the  Royal  Irish  Fusiliers  : 
they  obtained  this  nickname  during  the 
Irish  Rebellion  in  1798. 

Blaze.  Blaze-away  !  Look  sharp  ; 
stir  your  stumps  —  an  injunction  to 
renewed  and  more  effective  effort. 

Blazer.  Originally  applied  to  the 
uniform  of  the  Lady  Margaret  Boat 
Club  of  St.  John's  College,  Cambridge, 
which  was  of  a  bright  red  and  was 
called  a  blazer :  now  applied  to  any 
light  jacket  of  bright  colour  worn  at 
cricket  or  other  sports.  Prof.  Skeat 
[N.  and  Q.,  7  S.,  iii.  436]  speaking  of 
the  Johnian  blazer,  says  it  was  always 
of  the  most  brilliant  scarlet,  and  thinks 
it  not  improbable  that  the  fact  sug- 
gested the  name  which  subsequently 
became  general. 

Blazes.  1.  The  infernal  regions. 
As  a  verb,  to  blaze  is  employed  in  a 
manner  closely  bordering  on  slang : 
thus  one  says  of  an  action  that  it  is  a 
blazing  shame  ;  that  he  has  a  blazing 

headache  ;  that  so-and-so  is  a  blazing 
thief ;  that  such  a  job  is  blazing  hard 
work  ;  that  it  is  a  blazing  hot  day.  2. 
The  brilliant  habiliments  of  flunkeys  : 
from  the  episode  of  Sam  Weller  and 
the  swarry.  Old  blazes,  the  deviL 
Go  to  blazes  !  Go  to  the  devil ;  go  to 
hell  —  used  in  imprecations  (1851). 
Like  blazes,  vehemently,  with  extreme 
ardour.  How  (Who,  or  What)  the 
blazes.  How  (What  or  Who)  the 
Dickens.  Drunk  as  blazes  (or  blaizers), 
very  drunk,  beastly  drunk :  see 

Bleach  (Harvard  University). 
To  absent  oneself  from  morning 

Bleached  Mort  A  fair  complex- 
ioned  wench  (Grose). 

Bleak.     Handsome. 

Bleater.  The  victim  of  a  sharper 
or  rook  (1609). 

Bleating  cheat     A  sheep  (1567). 

Bleating  Cull.     A  sheep  stealer. 

Bleating  Prig  (or  Rig).  Sheep  steal- 
Bleed.  1.  To  be  victimised,  lose 
or  part  with  money  so  that  the  loss  is 
felt,  be  rushed  (q.v.),  have  money 
drawn  or  extorted  from  one  (1668). 
2.  To  plane  down  so  that  the  edge 
of  a  printed  book  is  cut  away.  3.  To 
let  water  out  (nautical).  To  bleed  the 
monkey,  to  steal  rum  from  the  mess 
tub  called  the  monkey :  the  term 
is  exclusively  naval,  monkeys  not 
being  known  on  merchant  ships  :  also 
called  sucking  the  monkey  and  tapping 
the  admiral. 

Bleeder  (University).  1.  A 
duffer  beyond  compare,  a  superlative 
fool :  see  Buffle.  2.  A  sovereign  :  see 
Rhino.  3.  A  spur. 

Bleeding.  An  expletive :  cf.  (Shake- 
speare), bleeding  new. 

Bleeding  Cully.  One  who  parts 
easily  with  his  money,  or  bleeds  freely 

Blanker.  To  plunder :  much  used 
during  the  Civil  War. 

Bless.  To  curse,  damn.  To  bless 
oneself,  to  be  surprised,  vexed,  mor- 
tified :  generally,  God  bless  me ! 
Bless  my  eyes !  Bless  my  soul ! 
Lor'  bless  me !  (1592).  Not  a 
penny  to  bless  oneself  with,  utterly  im- 
pecunious, without  a  sou  (1843). 
To  bless  one's  stars,  to  thank  oneself, 
attribute  one's  good  fortune  to  luck, 
generally  in  a  ludicrous  sense  (1845). 




Blessed  (Blest).  An  ironical 
euphemism  ;  often  used  like  blazing 
for  cursed,  damned,  etc.,  or  as  a  vow 

Blessing.     A  curse  :  ironical. 

Blether  Blather.  Nonsense, 
vapid  talk,  voluble  chatter  (1787). 
Hence  Blethering,  volubly,  foolishly 
talkative  :  cf.  Bletherskate. 

Bletherskate,  Blatherskite.  1. 
Boastful  swagger:  in  talk  or  action. 
2.  A  boaster,  noisy  talker  :  in  Ireland, 
Bladder  •  skate,  and  Bladderum-skate 

Blew.  1.  To  inform,  peach,  expose, 
betray  :  see  Blow  upon.  2.  To  spend, 
waste  :  generally  of  money ;  when  a 
man  has  spent  or  lost  all  his  money,  he 
is  said  to  have  blewed  it. 

Blimey  1      Blind  me  ! 

Blind.  1.  A  means  or  place  of  con- 
cealment (1647).  2.  A  pretence,  shift, 
action  through  which  one's  real  pur- 
pose is  concealed,  that  which  obstructs, 
make  -  believe  (1663).  3.  A  para- 
graph [in  mark  is  so  called  ;  from  the 
eye  of  the  reversed  P  being  filled  up. 
As  adj.,  tipsy,  in  liquor  :  see  Screwed. 
Blind  as  a  brickbat,  very  blind — men- 
tally or  physically  (1849).  When  the 
devti  is  blind,  never :  Fr.,  le  trente  six 
du  mols,  and  quand  les  ponies  auront 
des  dents.  To  go  it  blind,  to  enter  upon 
an  undertaking  without  thought  as 
to  the  result,  or  inquiry  beforehand  : 
from  poker. 

Blind-drunk  (or  fou).  So  drunk  as 
to  be  unable  to  see  better  than  a  blind 
man :  see  Screv/ed :  Americans  say, 
So  drunk  as  not  to  be  able  to  see 
through  a  ladder. 

Blinder.  To  take  a  blinder,  to  die : 
see  Hop  the  Twig. 

Blind  Half  Hundred.  The  Fiftieth 
Regiment  of  Foot,  now  the  first  bat- 
talion Queen's  Own  (Royal  West  Kent 
Regiment) :  many  men  suffered  from 
ophthalmia  during  the  Egyptian  cam- 
paign [1801]. 

Blind  Harper.  A  beggar  coun- 
terfeiting blindness,  playing  on  a 
fiddle  (Grose). 

Blind-man's  Holiday.  Formerly, 
the  night  or  darkness  ;  now  usually 
applied  to  the  time  between  lights, 
when  it  is  too  dark  to  see,  but  often 
not  dark  enough  to  light  up,  and  a 
holiday  or  rest  from  work  is  taken 

Blind  Monkeys.  An  imaginary 

collection  at  the  Zoological  Gardens, 
which  are  supposed  to  receive  care  and 
attention  from  persons  fitted  by 
nature  for  such  office  and  for  little 
else.  An  idle  and  useless  person  is 
often  told  that  he  is  only  fit  to  lead 
blind  monkeys.  Another  form  is  for 
one  man  to  tell  another  that  he  knows 
of  a  suitable  situation  for  him.  How 
much  a  week  ?  and  what  to  do  ?  are 
natural  questions,  and  then  comes 
the  scathing  and  sarcastic  reply,  Five 
bob  a  week  at  the  doctor's — you're 
to  stand  behind  the  door  and  make 
the  patients  sick.  They  won't  want 
no  physic  when  they  sees  your  mug 

Blindo.  A  drunken  spree.  As  verb, 
to  die :  see  Hop  the  Twig. 

Blind  Side.  The  side  that  is 
weakest,  the  most  assailable  side 

Blind  Story.  A  story  without 

Blink.     To  drink  :  see  Lush. 

Blinker.  1.  The  eye  :  cf.  Winker, 
Peeper,  Optic,  etc.  (1816).  2.  In  pi. 
Spectacles,  barnacles  (1732).  3.  In 
Norfolk,  a  black  eye.  4.  A  hard  blow 
in  the  eye.  Blank  your  blinkers,  a 
euphemistic  oath. 

Blink  -  fencer.  A  vendor  of  spec- 

Blinko.  An  amateur  entertain- 
ment, a  free-and-easy  (q.v.);  a  sing- 
song (q.v.). 

Blister.  Euphemistic  for  damn: 
cf.  Blamed  (1840). 

Blizzard.  1.  A  poser,  stunning  blow, 
unanswerable  argument,  etc.,  etc. 
(1831).  2.  A  snow-gale,  furious  storm 
of  frost-wind  and  blinding  snow. 

Bloak.     See  Bloke. 

Bloat.  1.  A  drowned  body.  2. 
A  drunkard.  3.  A  contemptuous 
name  for  a  human  being. 

Bloated  Aristocrat.  A  man  swollen 
with  the  pride  of  rank  or  wealth  ;  also 
a  general  sobriquet  applied  by  the 
masses  to  the  classes.  Bloated 
has  long  been  employed  in  a  similar 
sense.  Swift  spoke  of  a  certain  states- 
man as  a  bloated  minister  (1731). 

Bloater.     See  My  bloater. 

Blob.  To  talk,  patter.  Blob- 
tale,  a  tell-tale,  tale-bearer  (1670). 

Block.  A  stupid  person,  hard 
unsympathetic  individual,  one  of 
mean,  unattractive  appearance  (1534) : 
see  Buffie.  Barber's  block  (1),  the 




head  (1637);  (2)  s  fop.  A  chip  of  the 
tame  (or  old)  block,  a  man  or  thing 
exhibiting  the  same  qualities  as  he  or 
that  with  which  a  comparison  is  made 
(1627).  At  deaf  <u  a  block,  as  deaf  as 
may  be.  To  cut  a  block  with  a  razor,  in- 
consequent argument,  futile  endeavour, 
incongruous  application  of  means  (or 
ability)  to  the  end  in  view  (1774).  To 
block  a  hat,  to  crush  a  man's  hat  over 
the  eyes,  to  bonnet  (q.v.). 

Blockers.     See  Block  ornaments. 

Blockhead  (or  Block- pate).  A 
etupid  fellow,  woodenhead  ;  see 

Block  House.  A  prison,  house 
of  detention  :  see  Cage  (1624). 

Block  Island  Turkey,  subs.  (Ameri- 
can). Salted  cod-fish.  Connecticut 
and  Rhode  Island.  Slang  delights  in 
naming  fish  as  flesh.  For  some  curious 
examples,  see  Two-eyed  Steak. 

Block  Ornament  (or  Blocker). 
1.  A  small  piece  of  meat  of  indifferent 
quality,  a  trimming  from  a  joint, 
etc. :  as  exposed  for  sale  on  the  blocks 
or  counters  of  butchers'  shops  in  cheap 
neighbourhoods,  opposed  to  meat 
hung  on  hooks  (1848).  2.  A  queer- 
looking  man  or  woman  —  one  odd  in 

Block- pate.     See  Blockhead. 

Bloke  (or  Bloak).  A  man,  fellow 

Blood.  1.  A  fop,  dandy,  buck,  or 
fast  man :  originally  in  common  use, 
but  now  obsolete :  from  that  legitimate 
sense  of  the  word  which  attributes  the 
seat  of  the  passions  and  emotions  to 
the  blood — hence,  a  man  of  spirit ;  one 
who  has  blood  worth  mention,  and,  in 
an  inferior  sense,  he  who  makes  him- 
self notorious,  whether  by  dress  or 
rowdyism  :  in  the  last  century,  especi- 
ally during  the  regency  of  George  IV., 
the  term  was  largely  in  vogue  to  denote 
a  young  man  of  good  birth  or  social 
standing  about  town ;  subsequently, 
it  came  to  mean  a  riotous,  disorderly 
fellow  (1562).  2.  Money:  generic: 
see  Rhino.  As  verb,  to  deplete  of 
money,  victimise :  a  figurative  usage 
of  to  bleed ;  i.e.  surgically,  to  let  or 
draw  blood  by  opening  a  vein. 

Blood  ana  Entrails.  The 
British  ensign  is  so  nicknamed  by 
Yankee  sailors  ;  English  salts  return 
the  compliment  by  jokingly  speaking 
of  the  American  flag  as  The  Gridiron 
and  Doughboys  (q.v.). 

Blood  and  Thunder.  A  beverage 
of  port  wine  and  brandy  mixed. 

Blood  and  Thunder  Tales. 
Low  class  fiction,  the  term  being 
generally  applied  to  works  dealing 
with  the  exploits  of  desperadoes  cut- 
throats, and  other  criminals :  also  called 
Awfuls,  Penny  dreadfuls,  Gutter 
literature,  Shilling  shockers. 

Blood-an'-'ouns.  An  abbreviated 
form  of  an  old  and  blasphemous  oath. 

Blood-curdler  (or  Blood-freezer). 
A  narration  or  incident  which  makes 
the  flesh  creep,  that  which  stirs  one's 
feelings  strongly  (and  generally  re- 
pulsively) :  said  of  a  sensational 
murder,  a  thrilling  ghost-story,  etc. 

Blood  for  Blood.  When 
tradesmen  exchange  wares,  setting 
the  cost  of  one  kind  off  against  another 
instead  of  making  payment  in  cur- 
rency, they  are  said  to  give  blood  for 

Blood-Freezer.    See  Blood-curdler. 

Blood-red  Fancy.  A  particu- 
lar kind  of  handkerchief  sometimes 
worn  by  pugilists  and  frequenters  of 
prize  fights  :  see  Billy. 

Blood  Suckers.  The  Sixty-third 
Regiment  of  Foot,  now  the  first 
battalion  of  the  Manchester  Regi- 
ment. 2.  An  extortioner,  sponger 

Blood-tub.  A  rowdy,  blustering 
bully,  rough :  this  nickname  was 
peculiar  to  Baltimore  ;  the  Blood-tubs 
were  said  to  have  been  mostly  butchers, 
and  to  have  got  their  epithet  from 
having,  on  an  election  day,  dipped  an 
obnoxious  German's  head  in  a  tub  of 
warm  blood,  and  then  driven  him 
running  through  the  town. 

Bloody,  adj.  (low).— An  intensive 
difficult  to  define,  and  used  in  a  mul- 
titude of  vague  and  varying  senses,  but 
frequently  with  no  special  meaning, 
much  less  a  sanguinary  one  :  generally 
=  an  emphatic,  very  :  in  general  collo- 
quial use  from  1650-1750,  but  now 
vulgar  or  profane.  The  origin  is  not 
quite  certain  ;  but  there  is  good  reason 
to  think  that  it  was  at  first  a  refer- 
ence to  the  habits  of  the  bloods  or 
aristocratic  rowdies  of  the  end  of  the 
17th  and  beginning  of  the  18th  cent. 
The  phrase  bloody  drunk  was  ap- 
parently as  drunk  as  a  blood  (cf. 
as  drunk  as  a  lord) ;  thence  it  was 
extended  to  kindred  expressions,  and 
at  length  to  others  ;  probably  in  later 


Bloody  Back. 


times,  its  associations  with  bloodshed 
and  murder  (cf.  a  bloody  battle,  a 
bloody  butcher)  have  recommended 
it  to  the  rough  classes  as  a  word  that 
appeals  to  their  imagination.  Compare 
the  prevalent  craving  for  impress- 
ive or  graphic  intensives  as  seen  in  the 
use  of  jotty,  awfully,  terribly,  devil- 
ish, deuced,  damned,  ripping,  rattling, 
thumping,  stunning,  thundering,  etc. 

Bloody  Back.     A  soldier. 

Bloody  Chasm.  To  bridge 
the  bloody  chasm,  a  favourite  expres- 
sion with  orators  who,  during  the 
years  immediately  succeeding  the 
Civil  War,  sought  to  obliterate  the 
memory  of  the  struggle.  The  anti- 
thetical phrase  is  to  wave  the  bloody 
shirt  (q.v.). 

Bloody  Eleventh.  The  Eleventh 
Regiment  of  Foot,  now  the  Devon- 
shire Regiment :  at  the  battle  of  Sala- 
manca (fought  with  the  French)  the 
corps  was  nearly  cut  to  pieces,  whence 
its  sanguinary  sobriquet.  At  Fon- 
tenoy  and  Ostend  also,  it  was  hard- 
pressed  and  nearly  annihilated. 

Bloody  Jemmy.  An  uncooked 
sheep's  head. 

Bloody  Shirt.  To  wave  the 
bloody  shirt,  to  keep  alive  factious 
strife  on  party  questions.  Primarily 
it  was  the  symbol  of  those  who, 
during  the  Reconstruction  period  at 
the  close  of  the  rebellion  of  the  South- 
ern or  Confederate  States,  would  not 
suffer  the  Civil  War  to  sink  into  oblivion 
out  of  consideration  for  the  feelings  of 
the  vanquished. 

Bloomer.  A  mistake  :  said  to  be 
an  abbreviated  form  of  blooming 

Blooming  (often  Bloomin').  This 
word,  similar  in  type  to  blessed, 
blamed,  and  other  words  of  the  kind, 
is,  as  used  by  the  lower  classes,  a 
euphemism,  but  it  is  also  frequently 
employed  as  a  mere  meaningless  in- 
tensitive  (1726). 

Bloss.  Generic  for  a  woman — 
girl,  wife,  or  mistress :  Shakespeare, 
in  Titus  Andronicus  (1588,  iv.  ii.  72), 
employs  it  in  the  sense  of  one  lovely 
and  full  of  promise — Sweet  blowse 
you  are  a  beautious  blossome  sure ; 
Tennyson  (1847)  in  the  Princess  (v. 
79),  uses  the  expression,  My  babe, 
my  blossom,  ah,  my  child  ! 

Blossom-faced.  With  red  bloated 

Blossom-nose.  A  tippler,  Lushing- 
ton  (q.v.).  Blossom-nosed,  red  with 
tippling :  cf.  Grog-blossom,  Rum-bud. 

Blot.  To  blot  the  scrip,  to  put  an 
undertaking  into  writing  :  the  modern 
phrase  is,  to  put  it  in  black  and 
white.  Hence,  To  blot  the  scrip  and 
jark  it,  to  stand  engaged,  bound  for 
any  one  (Grose). 

Bloviate.  To  talk  aimlessly 
and  boastingly,  indulge  in  high 
falutin' :  said  to  have  been  in  use 
since  1850. 

Blow.  1.  A  shilling :  see  Rhino. 
2.  A  drunken  froh'c,  spree.  As  verb, 
(1)  to  boast,  brag,  gas,  fume,  storm 
— generally  to  talk  boastfully  or  self- 
assertingly  of  oneself  or  one's  affairs 
(1400) ;  (2)  to  inform,  expose,  betray, 
peach  (1575) ;  (3)  to  lie  ;  (4)  employed 
euphemistically  for  damn  —  gener- 
ally in  the  imperative — Blow  it  I 
hang  it  t  (5)  to  lose  or  spend  money : 
cf.  Blue ;  (6)  to  indulge  in  a  frolic  or 
spree ;  (7)  (Winchester  School),  to 
blush.  To  bite  the  blow,  to  steal 
goods,  prig.  To  blow  a  cloud,  to 
smoke.  To  blow  hot  and  cold,  to 
vacillate,  be  inconsistent ;  to  blow  the 
bellows,  to  stir  up  passion  ;  to  blow  off, 
to  relieve  one' s  feelings,  get  rid  of  super- 
fluous energy ;  to  blow  into  one's  ear, 
to  whisper  privily ;  to  blow  one's  own 
trumpet,  to  brag,  sound  one's  own 

E raises  ;  to  blow  the  coals  (or  the  fire),  to 
in  the  flame  of  discord,  promote 
strife ;  to  blow  up,  to  scold,  rate,  rail 
at ;  To  blow  great  guns,  to  blow  a 
hurricane  or  violent  gale  :  sometimes 
to  blow  great  guns  and  small  arms 
(1839).  To  blow  one's  bazoo,  to  boast, 
swagger,  gasconade.  To  blow  oneself 
out,  to  eat  heartily,  gorge :  hence, 
blow  out,  a  heavy  feed  (or  enter- 
tainment), a  tuck  in.  To  blow  the 
gab  (or  gaff),  to  reveal  (or  let  out)  a 
secret,  peach  (Grose).  To  blow  the 
grampus,  to  throw  cold  water  on  a 
man  who  has  fallen  asleep  when  on 
duty.  To  blow  together,  to  make  gar- 
ments in  a  slovenly  manner.  To  blow 
up  sky-high,  to  do  everything  with  un- 
usual energy.  To  blow  upon,  to  betray, 
tell  tales  of,  discredit,  defame. 

Blowboul  (orBloboll).  A 
tippler :  see  Lusbington. 

Blow-book.  A  book  containing 
indelicate  or '  smutty  '  pictures  (1708). 

Blowed.  To  be  blowed,  Slowed  is 
here  a  euphemism,  frequently  little 



more  than  a  thinly-veiled  oath.  To 
be  cursed,  sent  about  one's  business. 

Blowen  (or  Blowing).  Origin- 
ally a  woman,  without  special  refer- 
ence to  moral  character,  now  a  showy 
courtesan  or  a  prostitute  (1688). 

Blower.  1.  A  girl :  contemptuous 
in  opposition  to  jomer  (q.v.)  (Grose). 

2.  A  good  talker,   boaster,  gas-bag. 

3.  A  pipe. 

Blowhard.  A  Western  term  of 
abuse  :  a  newcomer  may,  in  one  and 
the  same  breath,  be  called  a  blareted 
Britisher,  a  coyote,  and  a  blowhard. 

Blowse  (Blowsy,  Blouze,  Blowzy). 
1.  A  beggar's  trull,  a  wench.  2. 
A  slatternly  woman,  especially  one 
with  dishevelled  hair.  Thought  to  be 
of  canting  origin. 

Blowze.  1.  A  beggar's  trull,  beg- 
gar wench,  wench  (1573).  2.  A  fat, 
rod  -  faced  bloated  wench,  or  one 
whose  head  is  dressed  like  a  slattern 

Blubber.  1.  The  mouth:  see 
Potato-trap  (Grose).  2.  A  woman's 
breasts.  As  verb,  to  cry,  weep :  in 
contempt  (1400) :  also  Blab. 

Blubber  and  Guts.  Obesity;  a 
low  term. 

Blubber-belly.     A  fat  person. 

Blubber  Head.  A  foolish,  empty- 
headed  individual :  see  Buffle. 

Blucher  (ch.  hard)  (Winchester 
College).  1.  A  College  praefect  in  half 
power :  their  jurisdiction  does  not 
extend  beyond  Seventh  Chamber 
passage,  though  their  privileges  are 
the  same  as  those  of  other  prefects  . 
they  are  eight  in  number.  2.  A  non- 
privileged  cab  plying  at  railway 
stations :  railway  companies  recog- 
nise two  classes  of  cabs,  called  the  Pri- 
vileged ....  and  the  Bluchers,  non- 
privileged  cabs,  which  are  admitted  to 
stations  after  all  the  privileged  have 
been  hired,  named  after  the  Prussian 
Field  -  Marshal  who  arrived  on  the 
field  of  Waterloo  only  to  do  the  work 
that  chanced  to  be  undone. 

Bludgeoner.  A  bully,  pimp, 

Bludger.  A  thief,  who  does  not 
hesitate  to  use  violence ;  literally  one 
who  will  use  a  bludgeon. 

Bludget.  A  female  thief,  who 
decoys  her  victims  into  alley-ways, 
etc.,  to  rob  them. 

Blue.  1.  A  policeman  :  from  the 
colour  of  the  uniform ;  also  (collect- 

ively). Blues,  Men  in  Blue,  Blue-boys, 
Blue-bottles,  Blue-devils,  Royal  Regi- 
ment of  Foot-guards  Blue.  2.  Among 
licensed  victuallers  and  their  customers 
in  certain  districts  of  Wales  a  com- 
promise between  the  half -pint  and 
the  pint  pot ;  it  is  not  recognised  as  a 
legal  measure  by  the  authorities,  but 
the  Board  of  Trade  has  pointed  out 
to  the  local  authorities  that  there  is 
nothing  in  the  Weights  and  Measures 
Act  to  prevent  the  use  of  the  Blue  or  to 
make  its  possessor  liable  to  penalties, 
always  provided  of  course  that  the 
vessel  is  not  used  as  a  measure.  3.  A 
scholar  of  Christ's  Hospital :  a  blue- 
coat  boy  :  also  derived  from  the  colour 
of  the  clothes — a  blue  drugget  gown  or 
body  with  ample  skirts  to  it,  a  yellow 
vest  underneath  in  winter  time,  small 
clothes  of  Russia  duck,  worsted 
yellow  stockings,  a  leathern  girdle,  and 
a  little  black  worsted  cap,  usually 
carried  in  the  hand,  being  the  com- 
plete costume  ;  this  was  the  ordinary 
dress  of  children  in  humble  life  in 
Tudor  times.  4.  Short  for  blue- 
stocking (q.v.) ;  formerly  a  contempt- 
uous term  for  a  woman  having  (or 
affecting)  literary  tastes  (1788).  5. 
Female  learning  or  pedantry  (1824). 
6.  At  Oxford  and  Cambridge  a  man  is 
said  to  get  his  blue  when  selected  as  a 
competitor  in  inter-university  sports  : 
the  University  colours  are,  for  Oxford, 
dark  blue ;  and  for  Cambridge,  light 
blue :  cf.  to  get  one's  silk,  said  of  a 
barrister  when  made  King's  Counsel. 
As  adj.,  (1)  applied,  usually  in  con- 
tempt, to  women  of  literary  tastes : 
FT.,  bleue  celle-la ;  (2)  indecent ; 
smutty ;  obscene ;  (3)  gloomy, 
fearful,  depressed,  low-spirited  :  cf.  to 
look  blue,  blue  funk,  and  in  the  blues. 
As  verb,  (1)  to  blush  (1709);  (2)  to 
pawn,  pledge,  spend,  actually  to  get 
rid  of  money  quickly  :  cf.  Blew  ;  (3)  to 
miscalculate,  to  make  a  mess  of 
anything,  to  mull ;  (4)  to  steal, 
plunder  ;  to  be  blued,  to  be  robbed  :  see 
Prig.  By  all  that's  blue,  a  euphemistic 
oath  :  probably  by  Heaven  :  it  may 
be  compared  with  the  French  parbleu, 
synonymous  with  par  Dieu.  Till  all 
is  blue,  (1)  to  the  utmost,  the  end,  for 
an  indefinite  period :  Smyth,  in  his 
Sailors'  Word  Book,  says  this  phrase 
is  borrowed  from  the  idea  of  a  vessel 
making  out  of  port  and  getting  into 
deep  water ;  (2)  tipsy :  see  Screwed 

Blue  Apron. 

Blue  Murder. 

(1616) :  cf.  Fr.,  avoir  un  coup  cFbleu. 
To  look  blue,  to  be  confounded,  sur- 
prised, astonished,  annoyed,  dis- 
appointed. Fr.,  en  r ester  tout  bleu,  en 
lire  bleu,  en  bailler  tout  bleu  ( 1 600).  To 
make  the  air  blue,  to  curse,  swear. 
True  blue,  faithful,  genuine,  real :  an 
allusion  to  blue  as  the  colour  of  con- 
stancy (1383). 

Blue  Apron.     A  tradesman  (1721). 

Bluebacks.  1.  The  paper  money 
of  the  Confederates :  originating,  as 
in  the  case  of  United  States  paper 
currency  greenbacks,  in  the  colour  of 
the  printing  on  the  reverse.  2.  The 
Orange  Free  State  paper  money. 

Blue  Bellies.  A  nickname  be- 
stowed by  Southerners,  during  the 
Civil  War,  upon  their  opponents  of 
the  North,  whose  uniform  was  blue : 
also  Boys  in  blue,  Yanks,  etc.  The 
Southerners,  on  the  other  hand,  re- 
ceived such  names  as  The  secesh, 
Rebs,  and  Johnny  Rebs,  the  latter 
being  some  times  shortened  to  Johnnies. 
The  grey  uniform  of  the  Confederates 
likewise  caused  them  to  be  styled 
Boys  in  grey,  and  Greybacks. 

Blue  Bills  (Winchester  College). 
A  tradesman's  bills  sent  home  to  the 
parents  and  guardians  of  students. 

Blue  Billy.  A  handkerchief 
(blue  ground  with  white  spots)  some- 
times worn  and  used  as  a  colour  at 
prize-fights  :  see  Billy. 

Blue  Blanket.  1.  The  sky: 
probably  suggested  by  Shakespeare's 
Blanket  of  the  dark  (Macbeth,  i. 
v.)  (1720).  2.  A  rough  overcoat  made 
of  coarse  pilot  cloth. 

Blue  Blazes.     See  Blazes. 

Blue  Boar.     A  venereal  disease. 

Blue  Bottle.  1.  A  policeman, 
constable,  watchman  (1598).  2.  A 
serving-man  :  blue  was  the  usual  habit 
of  servants  (1602).  3.  A  term  of  re- 
proach for  a  servant. 

Blue  Boy.  A  bubo,  a  tumour  or 
abscess  with  inflammation. 

Blue-boys.     The  police. 

Blue  Butter.     Mercurial  ointment. 

Blue-cap.  A  Scotchman  (1596). 
2.  A  kind  of  ale  (1822). 

Blue-coat.  1.  A  constable, 
guardian  of  public  order.  2.  A  serv- 
ing man,  and,  3.  (generally)  one  of  the 
lower  orders  :  as  wearing  coats  of  blue 
(1600).  4.  A  blue-coat  boy  :  see  Blue. 

Blued  (or  Slewed).  Tipsy,  drunk: 
see  Screwed. 

Blue  Dahlia.  Something  rare  (or 
seldom  seen),  a  rara  avis. 

BlueDevils.  1.  Dejection,  low- 
ness  of  spirits,  hypochondria  (1786). 
2.  Delirium  tremens  (1818).  Hence, 
such  derivatives  as  Blue  devilage,  Blue 
devilry,  Blue  devilism ;  and  Blue 

Blue  Fear.  Extreme  fright :  the 
same  as  Blue  funk  (q.v.). 

Blue  Flag.  A  blue  apron  (q.v.) 
worn  by  butchers,  publicans,  and 
other  tradesmen  (Grose). 

Blue  Funk.  Extreme  fright, 
nervousness,  dread  (1856). 

Blue  -  gown.  1.  A  loose  woman  : 
a  blue-gown  was  the  dress  of  igno- 
miny for  a  harlot  in  the  house  of 
correction  (Nares).  2.  A  beggar, 
especially  a  licensed  beggar  who  wore 
the  dress  as  a  badge. 

Blue  Hen's  Chickens. 
The  inhabitants  of  Delaware.  The 
nickname  arose  thus :  Captain  Cald- 
well,  an  officer  of  the  first  Delaware 
regiment  in  the  American  War  of  In- 
dependence, was  noted  for  his  love  of 
cock-fighting.  Being  personally  popu- 
lar, and  his  regiment  becoming  famous 
for  their  valour,  they  were  soon  known 
as  game  -  cocks ;  and  as  Caldwell 
maintained  that  no  cock  was  truly 
game  unless  its  mother  was  a  blue  hen, 
his  regiment,  and  subsequently  Dela- 
wareans  generally,  became  known  as 
blue  hen's  chickens,  and  Delaware  as 
the  Blue  Hen  State  for  the  same  reason. 
A  boaster  is  also  often  brought  to  book 
by  the  sarcasm  Your  mother  was  a 
blue  hen  no  doubt. 

Blue  Horse.  The  Fourth  Dragoon 
Guards  (1746-88). 

Blue- jacket.  A  sailor  ;  especially 
used  to  distinguish  seamen  from  the 

Blue  Laws.  Puritanic  laws  of 
extreme  severity  :  originally  of  enact- 
ments at  New  Haven,  Conn.,  U.S.A. 

Blue  Lightning.     A  revolver. 

Blue  Monday.  A  Monday 
spent  in  dissipation  and  absence  from 

Blue  Moon.  Once  in  a  blue 
moon,  extremely  seldom,  an  unlimited 
time,  a  rarely  recurring  period :  an 
old  phrase,  first  used  in  the  sense  of 
something  absurd  ;  a  blue  moon,  like 
the  Greek  Kalends,  is  something  which 
does  not  exist  (1526). 

Blue  Murder  (or  Blue  Murders) 




Cries  of  terror  (or  alarm),  a  great 
noise,  an  unusual  racket:  cf.  Fr., 

Blueness.  Indecency  (1840).  Fr., 
horreurt,  bftises,  gueultes. 

Blue  Noses.  The  natives  of 
Nova  Scotia :  in  allusion,  it  is  said, 
to  a  potato  of  that  name  which  Nova 
Scotians  claim  to  be  the  best  in  the 
world ;  Proctor,  however,  hazards 
the  suggestion  that  the  nickname 
refers  to  the  blueness  of  nose  resulting 
from  intense  cold  (1837). 

Blue  Peter.  The  signal  or 
call  for  trumps  at  whist :  properly  a 
blue  flag  with  white  square  in  centre, 
hoisted  as  a  signal  for  immediate 

Blue  Pigeon.  1.  Lead  used  for 
roofing  purposes :  see  Blue  pigeon 
flyer.  2.  The  sounding  lead. 

Blue  Pigeon  Flyer.  A  thief 
who  steals  lead  from  the  roofs  of 
buildings.  Hotten  thus  explains  the 
modus  operandi.  Sometimes  a  journey- 
man plumber,  glazier,  or  other 
workman,  when  repairing  houses, 
strips  off  the  lead,  and  makes  away 
with  it.  This  performance  is,  though, 
by  no  means  confined  to  workmen. 
An  empty  house  is  often  entered  and 
the  whole  of  the  roof  in  ite  vicinity 
stripped,  the  only  notice  given  to  the 
folks  below  being  received  by  them  on 
the  occasion  of  a  heavy  downfall  of 
rain.  The  term  flyer  has,  indeed,  of 
late  years  been  more  peculiarly  ap- 
plied to  the  man  who  steals  the  lead 
in  pursuance  of  his  vocation  as  a  thief, 
than  to  him  who  takes  it  because  it 
comes  in  the  way  of  his  work  (1789). 
Fr.,  limousineur,  gras-doublier,  mas- 
taroufleur.  To  fly  the  blue,  pigeon,  to 
steal  lead  from  the  roofs  of  houses. 

Blue  Pill.  A  bullet;  also  Blue 
plum  and  lilue.  whistler. 

Blue  Ribbon  (or  Riband).  A  first 
prize,  the  greatest  distinction. 

Blue  Ruin.  Gin :  see  Drinks 

Blues.  1.  Despondency,  hypo- 
chondria, depression  of  spirits :  a 
shortened  form  of  blue  devils  (q.v.). 
2.  The  police.  3.  The  Royal  Horse 
Guards  Blue  are  popularly  so  known 
from  their  blue  uniform  with  scarlet 
facings :  the  corps  first  obtained  the 
name  of  Oxford  Blues  in  1690,  to 
distinguish  it  from  a  Dutch  regiment 
of  Horse  Guards  dressed  in  blue, 

commanded  by  the  Earl  of  Portland, 
the  former  being  commanded  by  the 
Earl  of  Oxford  ;  subsequently  the 
regiment  was,  during  the  campaign  in 
Flanders  [1742-45],  known  as  the 
Blue  Guards. 

Blue  Skin.  1.  Formerly  a 
contemptuous  term  for  a  Presby- 
terian. 2.  A  half-breed — the  child  of 
a  black  woman  by  a  white  man. 

Blue  Squadron.  Mixed  blood ; 
properly  one  with  a  Hindoo  strain : 
Eurasians  belong  to  the  blue  squad- 
ron :  cf.  Touch  of  the  tar  brush. 

Blue  Stocking.  A  literary 
lady :  applied  usually  with  the  im- 
putation of  pedantry.  The  gener- 
ally received  explanation,  is  that  the 
term  is  derived  from  the  name  given 
to  certain  meetings  held  by  ladies  in 
the  days  of  Dr.  Johnson  for  conversa- 
tion with  distinguished  literary  men. 
One  of  the  most  eminent  of  these 
literati  was  a  Mr.  Benjamin  Stilling- 
fleet,  who  always  wore  blue  stockings, 
and  whose  conversation  at  these 
meetings  was  so  much  prized,  that  his 
absence  at  any  time  was  felt  to  be  a 
great  loss,  so  that  the  remark  became 
common,  We  can  do  nothing  without 
the  blue  stockings,  hence  these  meet- 
ings were  sportively  called  blue- 
stocking clubs,  and  the  ladies  who 
attended  them  blue-stockings.  It  is 
stated  that  the  name  specially  arose  in 
this  way.  A  foreigner  of  rank  refused 
to  accompany  a  friend  to  one  of  these 
parties  on  the  plea  of  being  in  his 
travelling  costume,  to  which  there  was 
the  reply,  Oh  !  we  never  mind  dress 
on  these  occasions ;  you  may  come  in 
bat  bleus  or  blue  stockings,  with 
allusion  to  Stillingfleet's  stockings, 
when  the  foreigner,  fancying  that  bat 
bleus  were  part  of  the  necessary  cos- 
tume, called  the  meeting  ever  after  the 
Bas-bleu  Society.  In  modern  slang 
the  term  blue-stocking  is  abbrevi- 
ated into  blue.  Derivatives  are  blue- 
stockingism,  bluc-stockinger,  etc.  (1738). 

Blue  Stone.  Gin  (or  whisky) 
of  so  bad  a  quality  that  it  can  only  be 
compared  to  vitriol,  of  which  blue-stone 
is  also  a  nickname  in  the  north  of 
England  and  Scotland. 

Blue  Tape.     Gin :  see  Drinks. 

Blue  Water.     The  open  sea. 

Blue  Whistler.    A  bullet. 

Bluey.  1.  Lead:  see  Blue 
pigeon.  2.  A  bushman's  bundle,  the 




outside  wrapper  of  which  is  generally 
a  blue  blanket — hence  the  name :  also 
called  swag  (q.v.)  and  drum  (q.v.). 

Bluey-hunter.  A  thief  who  steals 
lead,  as  described  under  Blue  pigeon 
flyer  (q.v.)  (1851). 

B  1  u  ff .  An  excuse,  pretence, 
that  which  is  intended  to  hoodwink  or 
blind.  As  verb,  to  turn  aside,  stop, 
hoodwink,  to  blind  as  to  one's  real 

Bluffer.  1.  An  innkeeper  (Qrose). 
2.  A  bo'sun. 

Blunderbuss.  A  stupid  blundering 
fellow  :  see  Buffle  (Qrose). 

Blunt.  Generic  for  money,  espe- 
cially ready  money:  see  Rhino  (1714). 

Blunted.  Possessed  of  money,  in 
comfortable  circumstances,  warm  ( q.  v. ) 

Blunt-worker.  A  blunderer 
(1440).  Blunt-working,  blundering. 

B 1  u  n  t  y.  A  stupid  fellow,  one 
slow-witted :  see  Buffle. 

Blur-paper.     A  scribbler  (1603). 

Blush.  To  blush  like  a  black  or 
blue  dog,  to  blush  not  at  all  (1579). 

Blushet.  A  modest  girl,  a  little 
blusher  (1625). 

B.  N.  C.  Brasenose  :  the  initials 
of  Brasen  Nose  College,  Oxford :  in 
spite  of  the  nose  over  the  gate,  the 
probability  is  that  the  real  name  was 
Brasinium;  it  is  still  famous  for  its 

Bo  (or  Boh).  To  cry  (or  say)  Bo 
to  a  goose  (battledore,  bull,  etc.),  to  open 
one's  mouth,  to  speak. 

Boanerges.  A  loud,  vociferous 
speaker :  i.e.  a  son  of  thunder 
(Mark  iii.  17). 

Board.  1.  To  borrow.  2.  To 
accost,  ask  of,  make  a  demand ;  i.e. 
to  come  to  close  quarters  (1547).  To 
board  in  the  smoke,  to  take  one  un- 
awares, or  by  surprise.  On  the  board, 
enjoying  all  the  privileges  and  emolu- 
ments of  a  competent  workman :  when 
an  apprentice  becomes  a  regular  jour- 
neyman he  goes  on  the  board  :  tailors 
usually  work  squatting  on  a  low  raised 
platform — hence  possibly  the  expres- 
sion. To  keep  one's  name  on  the  board,  to 
remain  a  member  of  a  College.  To  sweep 
the  board,  to  pocket  all  the  stakes.  To 
begin  the  board,  to  take  precedence. 
To  go  by  the  board,  to  go  for  good  and 
all,  be  completely  done  for,  ruined. 
To  sail  on  another  board,  to  change 
one's  tactics. 

Boarding     House    (or     School). 

Newgate:  but  equally  applicable  to 
any  gaol — New  York  thieves  apply  it 
to  the  Tombs  :  see  Cage. 

Boardman.  A  standing  pat- 
terer :  they  endeavour  to  attract  at- 
tention to  their  papers,  or,  more 
commonly,  pamphlets  ...  by  means 
of  a  board  with  coloured  pictures  upon 
it,  illustrative  of  the  contents  of  what 
they  sell :  this  in  street  technology 
is  board  work :  sometimes  called  a 
sandwich  man. 

Board  of  Green  Cloth.  A  card 
(or  billiard)  table. 

Boat.  Formerly  the  hulks ; 
latterly  to  any  prison :  see  Cage.  To 
have  an  oar  in  another's  boat,  to 
meddle,  busybody.  To  sail  in  the 
same  boat,  to  pursue  the  same  course. 
As  verb,  ( 1 )  originally  to  transport :  the 
term  is  now  applied  to  penal  servitude. 
To  get  the  boat  (or  to  be  boated),  to  be 
sentenced  to  a  long  term  of  imprison- 
ment— equivalent  to  transportation 
under  the  old  system ;  (2)  to  join  as 
partner :  evidently  a  corruption  of 
to  be  in  the  same  boat,  i.e.  to  be  in 
the  same  position  or  circumstances. 
To  bail  one's  own  boat,  to  be  self- 
reliant,  to  paddle  one's  own  canoe. 

Bob.  LA  shilling:  seeRhino  (1812). 
2.  A  shoplifter's  assistant ;  one  who 
receives  and  carries  off  stolen  goods : 
Fr.,  nonne  (or  noune).  3.  Gin:  see 
Drinks  ( 1749).  4.  An  infantry  soldier ; 
generally  Light-bob,  i.e.  a  soldier  of  the 
fight  infantry  (1544).  5.  (Winchester 
College).  A  large  white  jug  contain- 
ing about  a  gallon  in  measure,  and 
used  for  beer.  As  adj.,  lively,  nice,  in 
good  spirits  (1721).  As  verb,  to  cheat, 
trick,  disappoint :  also  to  606  out  of 
( 1605).  As  intj.,  Stop  !  That's  enough  ! 
Dry  bob  (Wet  bob)  (Eton  College),  the 
first-named  is  one  who  devotes  him- 
self to  cricket  or  football  and  other 
land  sports ;  the  latter  one  who  goes 
in  for  rowing  and  aquatics  generally 
(1844).  All  is  bob,  All's  safe,  serene, 
gay  (1786).  Bear  a  bob  I  Be 
brisk !  look  sharp !  To  give  the  bob,  ( 1) 
to  give  the  door  :  used  by  Massinger — 
It  can  be  no  other  but  to  give  me  the 
bob;  (2)  to  befool,  mock,  impose  upon. 
S'help  me  bob,  a  street  oath,  equivalent 
to  So  help  me  God  ;  a  corrupted  form 
of  the  legal  oath :  So  help  is  pro- 
nounced swelp :  also  a'help  the  cot — my 
greens — the  toturs,  etc.  To  shift  one's 
bob,  to  go  away. 



Bobber,  l.  \  follow- workman, 
mate,  chum.  2.  A  spurious  plural 
of  bob  (q.v.)  =  a  shilling. 

Bobbery.  A  noise,  squabble, 
disturbance,  racket  (1813). 

Bobbish.  Frequently  pretty 
bobbish,  i.e.  hearty,  in  good  health 
and  spirits,  clever,  spruce  (1819) ;  also 

Bobby.  A  policeman :  this  nick- 
name, though  possibly  not  derived 
from,  was  certainly  popularised  by 
the  fact  that  the  Metropolitan  Police 
Act  of  1828  was  mainly  the  work  of  Mr., 
afterwards  Sir  Robert  Peel.  Long 
before  that  statesman  remodelled  the 
police,  however,  the  term  Bobby  the 
beadle  was  in  use  to  signify  a  guard- 
ian of  a  public  square  or  other  open 
space.  There  seems,  however,  a  lack 
of  evidence,  and  examples  of  its 
literary  use  prior  to  1851  have  not 
been  discovered.  At  the  Universities 
the  Proctors  are  or  used  to  be  called 

Bobby- twister.  A  burglar  or 
thief  (q.v.),  who,  when  resisting  pur- 
suit or  capture,  uses  violence. 

Bob-cull.  A  good  fellow,  pleasant 

Bob  my  pal.     A  girl,  i.e.  gal. 

Bobstick.     A  shilling's  worth. 

Bob  Tail.  1.  A  lewd  woman.  2. 
A  contemptible  fellow  —  Tag,  rag, 
and  bobtail.  See  Tag. 

Bocardo.  A  prison  :  see  Cage : 
specially  the  prison  in  the  old  North 
Gate  of  Oxford,  demolished  in  1771. 

Boco.  1.  The  nose  :  see  Conk.  2. 
Nonsense,  bosh. 

Bodier.  A  blow  on  the  side  of  the 

Bodkin.  Amongst  sporting  men, 
a  person  who  takes  his  turn  between 
the  sheets  on  alternate  nights,  when 
an  hotel  has  twice  as  many  visitors 
as  it  can  comfortably  lodge  ;  as,  for 
instance,  during  a  race  -  week.  A 
transferred  sense  from  To  ride  (or  sit) 
bodkin,  to  take  a  place  and  be  wedged 
in  between  other  persons  when  the 
accommodation  is  intended  for  two 
only  (1638). 

Body-cover.     A  coat. 

Body  of  Divinity  Bound  in  Black 
Calf.  A  parson  :  see  Devil-dodger. 

Body-slangs.  Fetters :  see  Dar- 
bies (1819). 

Body-snatcher.  1.  A  bailiff  or 
runner :  the  snatch  was  the  trick  by 

which  the  bailiff  captured  the  delin- 
quent. 2.  A  policeman.  3.  A  gener- 
ally objectionable  individual :  also 
mean  body  tnatcher.  4.  A  violator  of 
graves,  resurrectionist :  also  Body- 
lifter  (1833).  5.  An  undertaker. 

Bog.  1.  The  works  at  Dartmoor, 
on  which  convicts  labour ;  during 
recent  years  a  large  quantity  of  land 
has  been  reclaimed  in  this  way.  2.  An 
abbreviated  form  of  bog-house  (q.v.). 
As  verb,  to  ease  oneself,  evacuate. 

Bogey.     See  Bogy. 

Boggle- de- Botch  ( Boggled  y- 
Botch).  A  bungle,  mess,  hash : 
Boggle,  however,  is  more  frequently 
employed  (1834). 

Bog-house  (Bog-shop).  A  privy, 
necessary  house  (1671). 

Boglander.  An  Irishman  :  from 
the  boggy  and  marshy  character  of  a 
considerable  portion  of  the  Emerald 
Isle  (1698). 

Bog  Latin.  A  spurious  mode 
of  speech  simulating  the  Latin  in  con- 
struction :  see  Dog  Latin. 

Bog-oranges.  Potatoes :  see 
Bogland,  with  an  eye  to  the  vegetable 
in  question  forming  a  very  substantial 
food  staple  of  the  Irish  peasantry. 

Bog-trotter.  An  Irishman : 
Camden,  however  (c.  1605),  speaking 
of  the  debateable  land  on  the  bor- 
ders of  England  and  Scotland,  says, 
Both  these  dales  breed  notable  bog- 
trotters;  so  the  original  sense  would 
appear  to  have  been,  accustomed  to 
walk  across  bogs  ;  as  a  nickname  for 
an  Irishman,  it  dates  at  least  from 
1671.  Bog  -  trotting,  living  among 
bogs ;  e.g.  a  bog-trotting  Irishman 

Bogus.  Spurious,  fictitious,  sham, 
not  what  it  professes  to  be  :  of 
American  origin.  Dr.  Murray,  who, 
while  slily  satirising  the  bogus  deri- 
vations circumstantially  given,  says : 
Dr.  S.  Willard,  of  Chicago,  in  a  letter 
to  the  editor  of  this  Dictionary,  quotes 
from  the  Painesvitte  (Ohio)  Telegraph 
of  July  6  and  Nov.  2,  1827,  the  word 
bogus  as  a  subs.,  applied  to  an  ap- 
paratus for  coining  false  money.  Mr. 
Eber  D.  Howe,  who  was  then  editor  of 
that  paper,  describes  in  his  Autobio- 
graphy (1878)  the  discovery  of  such  a 
piece  of  mechanism  in  the  hands  of  a 
gang  of  coiners  at  Painesville,  in  May 
1827  ;  it  was  a  mysterious-looking 
object,  and  some  one  in  the  crowd 




styled  it  a  bogus,  a  designation  adopted 
in  the  succeeding  numbers  of  the 
paper.  Dr.  Willard  considers  this  to 
have  been  short  for  tanlrabogus,  a 
word  familiar  to  him  from  his  child- 
hood, and  which  in  his  father's  time 
was  commonly  applied  in  Vermont  to 
any  ill-looking  object ;  he  points  out 
that  tantrabobs  is  given  in  Halliwell 
as  a  Devonshire  word  for  the  devil. 
[Bogus  seems  thus  to  be  related  to 
bogy,  etc.]  (1825). 

Bogy,  Bogey.  A  landlord  : 
Fr.,  Monsieur  Vautour  (vautour  —  & 
vulture).  Ask  Bogy,  a  reply  to  a 
question  (Grose) :  modern  God  knows  ! 
or  Bramah  knows !  under  similar  cir- 
cumstances. As  adj.,  sombre,  dark 
in  tint :  said  of  a  painting  exhibiting 
these  characteristics. 

Bohemian.  A  gipsy  of  society; 
one  who  either  cuts  himself  off,  or  is 
by  his  habits  cut  off,  from  society  for 
which  he  is  otherwise  fitted ;  especi- 
ally an  artist,  literary  man,  or  actor, 
who  leads  a  free,  vagabond,  or  irre- 
gular life,  not  being  particular  as  to 
the  society  he  frequents,  and  despis- 
ing conventionality  generally :  used 
with  considerable  latitude,  with  or 
without  reference  to  morals  (O.E.D.). 

Bonn  (American  College).  A  trans- 
lation, pony  (q.v.) :  the  volumes  of 
Bonn's  Classical  Library  are  in  such 
general  use  among  under-graduates 
in  American  Colleges,  that  Bohn  has 
become  a  common  name  for  a  trans- 

Boil.  To  betray,  peach  (1602). 
To  boil  down,  to  reduce  in  bulk  by  con- 
densing or  epitomising.  To  boil  the 
pot,  to  gain  (or  supply)  one's  liveli- 
hood. To  keep  the  pot  boiling,  to  keep 
going.  The  blood  boils,  of  strong 
emotion,  anger,  or  resentment.  To 
boU  one'slobster,  to  enter  the  army  after 
having  been  in  the  church. 

Boiled  Shirt  (Biled  Shirt  or 
Boiled  Rag).  A  white  shirt  (1854). 

Boiler  (Winchester  College). 
1.  A  plain  coffee-pot  used  for  heating 
water  :  called  fourpenny  and  sixpenny 
boilers,  not  from  their  price,  but 
from  the  quantity  of  milk  they  will 
hold  :  ro  irav  boilers  were  large  tin 
saucepan-like  vessels  in  which  water 
for  hot  bidets  (q.v.)  was  heated.  2, 
See  Pot  boiler. 

Boiler  -  plated.  Imperturbable, 
stolid,  stoical. 

Boilers  (or  Brompton  Boilers). 
1.  The  Kensington  Museum  and 
School  of  Art,  in  allusion  to  the 
peculiar  form  of  the  temporary  build- 
ings, and  the  fact  of  their  being  mainly 
composed  of,  and  covered  with  sheet 
iron.  This  has  been  changed  since  the 
extensive  alterations  in  the  building, 
or  rather  pile  of  buildings,  and  the 
term  boilers  is  now  applied  to  the 
Bethnal  Green  Museum :  cf.  Pepper- 
boxes. 2.  (Royal  Military  Academy). 
Boiled  potatoes  :  Fried  potatoes  are 
called  Greasers. 

Boiling  (or  B  i  1  i  n  g).  Whole 
boiling  (or  bUing),  the  whole  lot,  entire 
quantity:  also  whole  gridiron  (q.v.) 
and  All  the  shoot  (1835). 

Boke.     The  nose. 

Bold.  Bold  as  brass,  audaci- 
ously forward,  presumptuous,  without 

Boler  (or  Bowler).  A  stiff  felt 
hat  (1861). 

B  o  1 1  y  (Marlborough  College). 

Bolt.  The  throat  (1821).  As 
verb  (at  one  period  slang,  now  recog- 
nised), 1.  To  escape,  leave  suddenly  : 
an  instance  of  a  word  once  orthodox, 
subsequently  fell  into  disrepute,  but 
which,  after  having  for  generations 
served  as  a  mere  slang  term,  is  now 
nearly  as  respectable  as  when  Dryden 
wrote :  I  have  reflected  on  those 
who,  from  time  to  time,  have  shot  into 
the  world,  some  bolting  out  on  the 
stage  with  vast  applause,  and  others 
hissed  off.  2.  The  usage  hi  the 
United  States  indicates  the  right 
of  the  independently  minded  to 
revolt  against  partisan  rule,  as  He 
bolted  the  party  nominations :  also 
substantively,  as  He  has  organised  a 
bolt.  3.  To  eat  hurriedly  without 
chewing,  swallow  whole,  gulp  down. 
To  get  the  bolt,  sentenced  to  penal 
servitude.  To  turn  the  corner  of  Bolt 
Street,  to  run  :  cf.  Queer  Street.  See 

Bolter.  1.  One  who  hides 
himself  in  his  own  house,  or  some 
privileged  place,  and  dares  only  peep, 
but  not  go  out  of  his  retreat  (Dyche) : 
the  privileged  places  referred  to  were 
such  as  Whitefriars,  the  Mint,  Higher 
and  Lower  Alsatia,  etc.  2.  One  who 
bolts ;  especially  applied  to  horses, 
but  figuratively  to  persons  in  the  sense 
of  one  given  to  throwing  off  restraint ; 




in  American  parlance  one  who  kick* 
(q.v.)  (1840).  3.  One  who  exercises 
the  right  of  abstention  in  regard  to  his 
political  party. 

Bolt-in-Tun.  Bolted,  run 
away  (1819).  A  term  founded  on  the 
cant  word  bolt,  and  merely  a  fanciful 
variation  very  common  among  flash 
persons,  there  being  in  London  a 
famous  inn  so  called  ;  it  is  customary 
when  a  man  has  run  away  from  his 
lodgings,  broken  out  of  jail,  or  made 
any  other  sudden  movement,  to  say, 
the  Bolt -in -tun  is  concerned,  or, 
he's  gone  to  the  Bolt-in-tun  instead 
of  simply  saying,  he  has  bolted,  etc. 

Boltsprit  (Boltspreet,  Bowsprit). 
The  nose  :  see  Conk  (1690). 

Bolus.     An  apothecary,  a  doctor. 

Boman.     A  gallant  fellow. 

Bombay  Ducks.  1.  The  Bombay 
regiments  of  the  East  India  Company's 
army.  2.  A  well  -  known  delicacy  : 
the  Anglo  -  Indian  relation  of  the 
Digby  chick ;  alive,  it  is  a  fish  called 
the  bummelo ;  dead  and  dried,  it 
becomes  a  duck. 

Bombo,  Bumbo.  A  nickname 
given  to  various  mixtures,  but  chiefly 
to  cold  punch  ;  Smollett,  in  a  note  in 
Roderick  Random,  speaks  of  it  as  A 
liquor  composed  of  rum,  sugar,  water, 
and  nutmeg  (1748). 

B  o  n  a.  A  girl,  young  woman, 
belle :  a  modern  form,  in  a  good  sense, 
of  Bona-roba  (q.v.).  As  adj.,  good. 

Bonanza.  A  happy  hit,  stroke 
of  fortune,  success :  from  the  Spanish, 
a  fail  wind,  fine  weather,  prosperous 
voyage  ;  Bonanza  was  originally  the 
name  of  a  mine  in  Nevada,  which  once, 
quite  unexpectedly,  turned  out  to  be 
a  big  thing,  and  of  enormous  value ; 
now  applied  to  any  lucky  hit  or  suc- 
cessful enterprise. 

Bona-roba,  subs.  (old).  A  wench, 
specially  a  courtesan,  a  showy  wanton. 
The  term  was  much  in  use  among  the 
older  dramatists.  Ben  Jonson  speaks 
of  a  bouncing  bona-roba ;  and  Cowley 
seems  to  have  considered  it  as  implying 
a  fine,  tall  figure.  Bona  in  modern 
times  is  frequently  employed  to  signify 
a  girl  or  young  woman,  without  re- 
ference to  morals  (1589). 

Bonce.  1.  The  head  (probably  a 
derivative  of  sense  2)  2.  A  large 
marble  (origin  unknown,  but  see  Alley). 

Bond.  Our  Lady' s  bonds, pregnancy, 

Bone.  1.  A  bribe  to  a  Custom! 
House  officer.  2.  Something  relished 
(1884).  As  adj.,  good,  excellent; 
O  is  the  vagabonds'  hieroglyphic  for 
bone,  or  good,  chalked  by  them  on 
houses  and  street  corners  as  a  hint  to 
succeeding  beggars.  As  verb,  (1)  to 
filch,  steal,  make  off  with,  take  into 
custody  (1748);  (2)  to  bribe,  grease 
the  palm  ;  (3)  to  study  :  see  Bonn.  To 
bone  standing,  to  study  hard.  The  ten 
bones,  the  fingers :  as  in  asseveration, 
By  these  ten  bones !  To  have  a  bone 
in  the  leg  (arm,  throat,  etc. ),  a  humorous 
reason  for  declining  to  do  anything,  a 
feigned  obstacle  (1642).  Hard  (or 
dry)  as  a  bone,  as  hard  (or  dry)  as  may 
be  ( 1833).  Bones  of  me  (you,  etc. ),  an 
exclamation  (1588).  To  feel  a  thing 
in  one's  bones,  to  feel  acutely,  under- 
stand perfectly.  A  bone  to  pick,  a 
difficulty  to  solve,  nut  to  crack,  a 
matter  of  dispute,  something  dis- 
agreeable needing  explanation,  a 
settlement  to  make.  A  bone  of  con- 
tention, a  source  of  contention  or 
discord.  To  make  bones  of,  to  make 
objection  to,  have  scruples  of,  hesitate. 
To  find  bones  in,  to  be  unable  to  credit, 
believe,  or  swallow.  To  put  a  bone 
in  one's  hood,  to  break  one's  head.  To 
carry  a  bone  in  the  mouth  (or  teeth),  of 
a  ship  when  cutting  through  the  water 
making  foam  about  her.  One  end  is 
pretty  sure  to  be  bone,  an  old-time 
saying  equivalent  to  an  admission 
that  All  is  not  gold  that  glitters  ;  that 
the  realization  of  one's  hopes  never 
comes  up  to  the  ideal  formed  of  them. 
To  be  upon  the  bones,  to  attack  (1616). 

Bone-ache.  The  lues  venerea  ( 1 592). 

Bone-baster.  A  staff,  cudgel  ( 1600). 

Bone-box.  The  mouth  :  see 
Potato-trap  (Grose). 

Bone-breaker.     Fever  and  ague. 

Bone-crusher.  A  heavy-bore 
rifle  used  for  killing  big  game. 

Boned.     See  Bone,  verb,  sense  1. 

Bone-grubber.  1.  One  who  lives 
by  collecting  bones  from  heaps  of 
refuse,  selling  his  spoils  at  the  marine 
stores  or  to  bone  grinders  (1750).  2. 
A  resurrectionist,  a  violator  of  graves : 
Cobbett  was  therefore  called  a  bone- 
grubber,  because  he  brought  the 
remains  of  Tom  Paine  from  America. 

Bone-house.  1.  The  human 
body.  2.  A  coffin :  also  a  charnel- 
house  :  Americans  generally  call  a 
cemetery  a  bone-yard  (1836). 


Bone  Musde. 


Bone  Muscle.  To  practise 

Bone-picker.  1.  A  footman :  Fr., 
larbin.  2.  A  collector  of  bones,  rags, 
and  other  refuse  from  the  streets  and 
places  where  rubbish  is  placed,  for  the 
purpose  of  sale  to  marine  dealers  and 
crushers  :  the  same  as  bone -grubber. 

Bone-polisher.  The  cat  -  o'  -  nine- 

Boner  (Winchester  College).  A 
sharp  blow  on  the  spine. 

Bones.  1.  Dice,  also  called  St. 
Hugh's  bones  (q.v.)  To  rattle  the 
bones,  to  play  at  dice  (1386).  2. 
Pieces  of  bones  held  between  the  fingers 
and  played  Spanish  castanet  fashion  : 
generally  an  accompaniment  to  banjo 
and  other  negro  minstrel  music 
(1592).  3.  A  member  of  a  negro 
minstrel  troupe  ;  generally  applied  to 
one  of  the  end  men  who  plays  the 
bones  (sense  2)  (1851).  4.  The  bones 
of  the  human  body,  but  more  generally 
applied  to  the  teeth :  Fr.,  pUoches, 
ossdots.  5.  A  surgeon ;  generally 
sawbones  (q.v.).  6.  (a)  The  shares 
of  Wickens,  Pease  and  Co.  ;  (b)  North 
British  4%  1st  Preference  Shares,  the 
4%  2nd  Preference  Stock  being  nick- 
named Bonettas.  One  end  is  pretty 
sure  to  be  bone :  an  old-time  saying 
equivalent  to  an  admission  that  All  is 
not  gold  that  glitters  ;  that  the  realiza- 
tion of  one's  hopes  never  comes  up 
to  the  ideal  formed  of  them.  To  be 
upon  the  bones,  to  attack. 

Bonesetter.  A  hard  riding 
horse,  ricketty  conveyance  :  see  Bone- 
shaker (Grose). 

Bone-shake.  To  ride  a  bone- 
shaker (q.v.). 

Bone-shaker.  1.  A  hard  trotting 
horse  :  see  Bone-setter.  2.  An  ordin- 
ary, as  distinguished  from  a  safety, 
a  type  of  bicycle  in  use  prior  to  the 
introduction  of  india-rubber  tires  and 
other  manifold  improvements. 

Bonettas.  The  4%  2nd  North 
British  2nd  Preference  Stock. 

Bong.     See  Boung. 

Boniface.  The  landlord  of  a  tavern 
or  inn,  mine  host :  from  Farquhar's 
play  of  The  Beaux'  Stratagem  (1707). 

Boning.  Boning  adjutant, 
aping  a  military  bearing.  Boning 
muscle  (q.v.)  going  in  largely  for 
gymnastics.  Boning  demerit,  giving  no 
cause  for  complaint  as  regards  one's 
conduct :  all  West  Point  cadet  slang. 

Bonk.    A  short,  steep  hill. 

Bonnering.  Burning  for  heresy 
(1613)  :cf.  Boycott,  Burke,  Maffick,  etc. 

Bonnet.  1.  A  gambling  cheat, 
decoy  at  auctions  ;  sometimes  called  a 
bearer  up  :  the  bonnet  plays  as  though 
he  were  a  member  of  the  general 
public,  and  by  his  good  luck,  or  by  the 
force  of  his  example,  induces  others  to 
venture  their  stakes;  bonneting  is  often 
done  in  much  better  society  than  that 
to  be  found  in  the  ordinary  gaming- 
rooms  ;  a  man  who  persuades  another 
to  buy  an  article  on  which  he  receives 
commission  or  percentage,  is  said  to 
bonnet  or  bear-up  for  the  seller  (1812). 
2.  A  pretext,  pretence,  make  believe.  3. 
A  woman :  cf .  petticoat.  As  verb,  ( 1 )  to 
act  as  a  bonnet,  cheat,  puff,  to  bear  up 
(q.v.) ;  (2)  to  crush  a  hat  over  a  man's 
eyes  (1835).  To  have  a  green  bonnet, 
to  fail  in  business.  A  bee  in  one's 
bonnet,  see  Bee.  To  fill  a  person's 
bonnet,  to  fill  his  place,  equal  him. 
To  rive  the  bonnet  of,  to  excel. 

Bonnet-  builder.   A  milliner  (1839). 

Bonneter.  1.  See  Bonnet.  2.  A 
crushing  blow  on  the  hat. 

Bonnet  -  laird.  A  petty  proprie- 
tor in  Scotland  :  as  wearing  a  bonnet 
like  humbler  folk. 

Bonnet-man.     A  highlander. 

Bonnets-so-blue.     Irish  stew. 

Bonny.  Looking  well,  plump. 
2.  Fine,  good,  very.  To  give  a  bonny 
penny  for,  to  pay  a  long  price.  A 
bonny  row,  a  jolly  uproar. 

Bono.     Good  :  from  the  Latin. 

Booby.  1.  A  stupid  fellow,  lubber, 
clown :  see  Buffle.  2.  A  dunce,  the  last 
in  a  class.  To  beat  the  booby,  see  Beat. 

Booby  Hutch.     A  police  station. 

Booby  -  trap.  An  arrangement  of 
books,  wet  sponges,  vessels  of  water, 
etc.,  so  arranged  on  the  top  of  a  door 
set  ajar  that  when  the  intended  victim 
enters  the  room  the  whole  falls  on  him 

Boodle.  1.  A  crowd,  com- 
pany,  the  whole  boiling  (q.v.) :  often 
caboodle  (q.v.).  2.  Capital,  stock-in- 
trade  :  specially  something  secret, 
peculiar  and  illegal ;  also  money  used 
for  bribery,  money  that  comes  as  spoils, 
the  result  of  some  secret  deal,  the  profits 
of  which  are  silently  divided ;  the  term 
is  likewise  used  to  cover  the  booty 
of  a  bank  robber,  or  the  absconding 
cashier.  Amongst  the  thieving  fra- 
ternity boodle  is  used  to  denote  money 



that  is  actually  spurious  or  counterfeit, 
and  not  merely  money  used  for  nefari- 
ous purposes,  but  which  as  currency 
is  genuine  enough.  3.  Generic  for 
money :  see  Rhino.  4.  A  fool,  noodle : 
see  Buffle.  To  carry  boodle,  to  utter 
base  money.  Fake  -  boodle,  a  roll  of 
paper  over  which,  after  folding,  a 
dollar  bill  is  pasted,  and  another  bill 
being  loosely  wrapped  round  this, 
it  looks  as  if  the  whole  roll  is 
made  up  of  a  large  sum  of  money  in 

B  o  o  d  1  e  r.  1.  One  who  bribes 
or  corrupts.  2.  A  man  uttering  base 
money :  swindlers  of  this  type  gener- 
ally hunt  in  couples  ;  one  carrying  the 
bulk  of  the  counterfeit  money,  and 
receiving  the  good  change  as  obtained 
by  his  companion,  who  utters  the 
boodle  piece  by  piece ;  the  game  is 
generally  worked  so  that  at  the  slightest 
alarm  the  boodle  carrier  vanishes  and 
leaves  nothing  to  incriminate  his  con- 

B  o  o  g  e  t.  A  travelling  tinker's 
basket  (Harmon)  (1567). 

Book.  1.  In  betting  (more 
especially  in  connection  with  horse- 
racing),  an  arrangement  of  bets  made 
against  certain  horses,  and  so  cal- 
culated that  the  bookmaker  (q.v.)  has 
a  strong  chance  of  winning  something 
whatever  the  result  (1836).  By  the 
book,  formally,  in  set  phrase.  In  a 
person's  good  (or  bad)  books,  in  favour 
(or  disfavour).  Out  of  one's  book, 
mistaken,  out  of  one's  reckoning. 
Without  one's  book  (1)  unauthorised, 
(2)  by  rote.  To  drive  to  book,  to 
compel  to  give  evidence  on  oath. 
To  bring  to  book,  to  bring  to  account. 
To  speak  like  a  book,  to  speak  with 
authority.  To  talk  like  a  book,  to 
speak  in  set  terms,  as  a  precisian.  To 
take  a  leaf  out  of  a  person's  book,  to 
take  example  by  him.  2.  The  first  six 
tricks  at  whist.  3.  The  copy  of  words 
to  which  music  is  set,  the  words  of  a 
play :  formerly  only  applied  to  the 
libretto  of  an  opera  (1768).  To  know 
one's  book,  to  have  made  up  one's  mind, 
to  know  what  is  best  for  one's  interest. 
To  suit  one's  book,  to  suit  one's  arrange- 
ments, fancy,  or  wish. 

Book  Answerer.     A  critic  (1760). 

Booked.  Caught,  fixed,  disposed 
of,  destined,  etc.  (1840). 

Book-form.  The  relative  powers 
of  speed  (or  endurance)  of  race-horses 

as  set  down  in  the  Racing  Calendar  or 

Bookie  (or  Booky).  A  book- 
maker (q.v.). 

Bookmaker.  A  professional 
betting- man.  The  English  Encyclo- 
paedia says  : — In  betting  there  are  two 
parties— one  called  layers,  as  the 
bookmakers  are  termed,  and  the  other 
backers,  in  which  class  may  be  in- 
cluded owners  of  horses  as  well  as  the 
public.  The  backer  takes  the  odds 
which  the  bookmaker  lays  against  a 
horse,  the  former  speculating  upon 
the  success  of  the  animal,  the  latter 
upon  its  defeat ;  and  taking  the  case 
of  Cremorne  for  the  Derby  of  1872, 
just  before  the  race,  the  bookmaker 
would  have  laid  3  to  1,  or  perhaps 
£1000  to  £300  against  him,  by  which 
transaction,  if  the  horse  won,  as  he  did, 
the  backer  would  win  £1000  for  risking 
£300,  and  the  bookmaker  lose  the 
£1000  which  he  risked  to  win  the 
smaller  sum.  At  first  sight  this  may 
appear  an  act  of  very  questionable 
policy  on  the  part  of  the  bookmaker  ; 
but  really  it  is  not  so,  because  so  far 
from  running  a  greater  risk  than  the 
backer,  he  runs  less,  inasmuch  as  it  is 
his  plan  to  lay  the  same  amount  (£1000) 
against  every  horse  in  the  race,  and  as 
there  can  be  but  one  winner,  he  would 
in  all  probability  receive  more  than 
enough  money  from  the  many  losers 
to  pay  the  stated  sum  of  £1000  which 
the  chances  are  he  has  laid  against  the 
one  winner,  whichever  it  is  (1862). 

Bookmaker's  Pocket.  A  breast- 
pocket made  inside  the  waistcoat,  for 
notes  of  large  amount  (Hottcn). 

Books.  1.  A  pack  of  cards ; 
used  mainly  by  professional  card- 
players  :  also  called  devil's  books, 
book  of  broads,  book  of  briefs :  Fr., 
juge  de  paix,  cartouchiere  a  portces  (a 
prepared  pack  used  by  sharpers) 
(1706).  2.  (Winchester  College),  (a) 
The  prizes  formerly  presented  by  Lord 
Say  and  Sele,  now  given  by  the  govern- 
ing body,  to  the  Senior  in  each 
division  at  the  end  of  Half,  (b) 
The  school  is  thus  divided : — Sixth 
Book — Senior  and  Junior  Division ; 
the  whole  of  the  rest  of  the  School  is 
in  Fifth  Book — Senior  Part,  Middle 
Part,  Junior  Part,  each  part  being 
divided  into  so  many  divisions,  Senior, 
Middle,  and  Junior,  or  Senior,  2nd, 
3rd,  and  Junior,  as  the  case  may  require. 




Formerly,  there  was  also  Fourth 
Book,  but  it  ceased  to  exist  about 
twenty -five  years  ago  (1840).  (c) 
Up  at  books,  in  class,  repeating  lessons : 
now  called  Up  to  books,  (d)  Books 
chambers,  on  Remedies  (a  kind  of 
whole  holiday),  we  also  went  into  School 
in  the  morning  and  afternoon  for  an 
hour  or  two  without  masters  ;  this  was 
called  books  chambers ;  and  on  Sun- 
days, from  four  till  a  quarter  to  five. 
(Mansfield),  (e)  To  get  or  make  books, 
to  make  the  highest  score  at  anything. 

Bookwork.  Mathematics  that 
can  be  learned  verbatim  from  books 
— all  that  are  not  problems. 

Bookwright.     An  author. 

Boom.  This  word  is  a  compara- 
tively recent  production  in  its  slang 
sense  ;  and  is  used  in  a  variety  of  com- 
binations ;  as,  The  whole  State  is 
booming  for  Smith,  or  The  boys  have 
whooped  up  the  State  to  boom  for 
Smith,  or  The  State  boom  is  ahead  in 
this  State,  etc.,  etc.  Stocks  and  money 
are  said  to  be  booming  when  active ; 
and  any  particular  spot  within  a 
flourishing  district  is  regarded  as  within 
the  boom  -  belt.  A  successful  team 
or  party  is  said  to  be  a  booming  squad, 
and  we  even  read  of  boomlets  to  ex- 
press progress  of  a  lesser  degree.  As 
subs,  commercial  activity,  rapid  ad- 
vance in  prices,  flourishing  state  of 
affairs  —  synonymous  with  extreme 
vigour  and  effectiveness  (1875).  As 
verb,  to  make  rapid  and  vigorous 
progress,  advance  by  leaps  and  bounds, 
push,  puff,  bring  into  prominence  with 
a  rush  (1874).  To  top  one's  boom  off, 
to  be  off  (or  to  start)  in  a  certain  direc- 

Boomer.  1.  One  who  booms  or 
causes  an  enterprise  to  become  flourish- 
ing, active  or  notorious.  2.  Anybody 
(or  anything)  considerably  above  the 
average  :  a  bouncing  lie,  a  fine  woman, 
a  horse  with  extra  good  points,  etc.,  etc. 

Boomerang.  Acts  or  words, 
the  results  of  which  recoil  upon  the 
person  from  whom  they  originate  :  the 
boomerang  is  properly  an  Australian 
missile  weapon  which,  when  thrown, 
can  be  made  to  return  to  the  thrower  ; 
or  which,  likewise,  can  be  caused  to 
take  an  opposite  direction  to  that  in 
which  it  is  first  thrown  (1845). 

Booming.  Flourishing,  active, 
in  good  form,  large,  astonishing. 

Boom-passenger.     A  convict 

on  board  ship :  prisoners  on  board 
convict  ships  were  chained  to,  or  were 
made  to  crawl  along  or  stand  on  the 
booms  for  exercise  or  punishment 

Boon  -  companion.  A  comrade 
in  a  drinking  bout,  a  good  fellow 

Boon  -  companionship.  Jollity, 
conviviality  (1592). 

Boong.      See  Bung. 

Boorde.     See  Bord. 

Boost.  A  hoisting,  shove,  lift, 
push  up  —  a  New  England  vulgar- 
ism (1858).  As  verb,  to  hoist,  lift  up, 

Boosy.     See  Boozy. 

Boot.  To  beat,  punish  with  a 
strap  :  the  punishment  is  irregular  and 
unconventional,  being  inflicted  by 
soldiers  on  a  comrade  discovered 
guilty  of  some  serious  breach  of  the  un- 
written law  of  comradeship,  such  as 
theft,  etc. :  formerly  inflicted  with  a 
bootjack — hence  the  name.  To  make 
one  boot  serve  for  either  leg,  to  speak 
with  double  meaning.  The  boot  is  on 
the  other  leg,  the  case  is  altered,  re- 
sponsibility is  shifted.  To  have  one's 
heart  in  one's  boots,  to  be  in  extreme 
fear.  Over  shoes,  over  boots,  reck- 
less continuance  of  a  course  begun, 
in  for  a  lamb — in  for  a  sheep.  Like  old 
boots,  vigorously,  thorough-going.  To 
die  in  one's  boots,  to  be  hanged. 

Boot-  catcher.  A  servant  whose 
duty  it  was  to  remove  a  person's 

Booth.  A  house.  To  heave  a 
booth,  to  rob  a  house. 

Booth-burster.  A  loud  and 
noisy  actor,  barn-stormer  (q.v.). 

Booting.  A  punishment  ad- 
ministered with  a  strap. 

Boot- Joe.     Musketry  drill. 

Bootlick.  A  flunkey,  hanger- 
on,  doer  of  dirty  work,  toady.  As 
verb,  to  toady,  hang  on,  undertake 
dirty  work. 

Boots.  1.  The  servant  at  hotels 
and  places  of  a  kindred  character  who 
cleans  the  boots  of  visitors  :  formerly 
called  boot  -  catchers  (q.v.),  because 
in  the  old  riding  and  coaching  days 
part  of  their  duty  was  to  divest  travel- 
lers of  their  footgear.  2.  The  youngest 
officer  in  a  regimental  mess.  3.  In 
humorous  (or  sarcastic)  combination  : 
e.g.  Clumsy-boots,  Lazy-boots,  Sly- 
boots, Smooth-boots,  etc. 


Boots  and  Leathers. 

Botany  Bay. 

Boots  and  Leathers.  See  Com- 
moner Peal. 

Booty.  Plunder,  spoils,  swag  (q.v.). 
To  play  booty,  to  play  falsely,  dis- 
honestly ;  or  unfairly ;  this  with  the 
object  of  not  winning,  a  previous  ar- 
rangement having  been  made  with  a 
confederate  to  share  the  spoils  result- 
ing from  the  bogus  play  :  sometimes  it 
takes  the  form  of  permitting  the 
victim  to  win  small  stakes  in  order 
to  encourage  him  to  hazard  larger 
sums  which,  naturally,  he  is  not 
allowed  to  win  (1575).  Booty-fellow, 
a  sharer  in  plunder,  illicit  -  gains, 

Booze.  1.  Drink,  a  draught : 
the  older  forms  are  bouse  or  bouze 
(q.v.),  but  booze  in  its  present  form 
appears  as  early  as  1714.  2.  A  drink- 
ing bout,  tipsy  frolic.  As  verb,  to 
drink  heavily,  tipple,  guzzle  :  an  old 
term  employed  in  some  sense  of  to 
drink,  as  early  as  1300.  Boozed, 
drunk,  fuddled.  Boozy,  drunken, 
screwed  (q.v.).  Boozing,  the  act  of 
drinking  hard.  Boozer,  a  drunkard, 
a  tippler. 

Boozing  Cheat     A  bottle. 

Boozing -ken.  A  drinking  den: 
Fr.,  bibine  :  see  Lush  crib  (1567). 

Bpozington.  A  drunkard, 
Lushington  ( q.  v.  )• 

Borachio.  A  drunkard  :  see 
Lushington :  properly  a  akin  for  hold- 
ing wine  (1599). 

B  o  r  a  k.  To  poke  borak,  to  pour 
fictitious  news  into  credulous  ears, 
stuff,  kid. 

Bord,  Borde,  Boorde.  A 
shilling  :  see  Rhino  (1567). 

Bordeaux.  Blood  :  cf.  Claret  and 
Badminton.  Bordeaux  hammer,  a 
vinous  headache. 

Bord  You !  An  expression  used 
to  claim  the  next  turn  in  drinking. 

Bore  (old  slang,  but  now  recog- 
nised). Anybody  (or  anything)  weari- 
some or  annoying.  As  verb,  (I)  to 
weary  or  to  be  wearied  :  the  word  does 
not  appear  in  English  literature  prior 
to  1750 ;  (2)  push  (or  thrust)  out  of  the 
course  :  amongst  pugilists  it  signifies 
to  drive  an  opponent  on  to  the  ropes 
of  the  ring  by  sheer  weight,  whilst 
amongst  rowing  men  it  denotes  the 
action  of  a  coxswain  in  so  steering  a 
boat  as  to  force  his  opponent  into 
the  shore,  or  into  still  water,  thus 
obtaining  an  unfair  advantage;  also 

analogously  applied  to  horse  -  racing 

Born.  All  one't  born  days,  one's 
lifetime  (1740).  Born  weak,  said  of 
ft  vessel  feebly  built 

Bosh.  Nonsense,  rubbish,  stuff, 
rot  —  anything  beneath  contempt : 
Murray  says  from  the  Turkish  both 
lakerdi,  empty  talk ;  the  word  became 
current  in  England  from  its  frequent 
occurrence  in  Morier's  Persian  novel, 
Ayesha  [1834],  an  extremely  popu- 
lar production.  As  verb,  to  num- 
bug,  spoil,  mar.  As  intj.,  nonsense  1 
Rubbish  !  It's  all  my  eye  ! 

Bosh    Faker.     A  violin  player. 

Boshing.     A  flogging,  bashing. 

Boshy.     Trumpery,  nonsensical. 

Bos-ken.  A  farmhouse :  an  old 
canting  term. 

Boskiness.  The  quality  of  being 
fuddled  with  drink  (or  bemused),  a 
state  of  drunkenness. 

Bosky.  Drunk,  tipsy,  fuddled : 
see  Screwed  (1748). 

Bosnian.    A  farmer. 

Bosom-bird.     An  intimate  friend. 

Bosom-mischief.  The  root 
of  offending. 

Bosom-piece.  A  bosom  friend : 
especially  of  a  woman. 

Bosom -sermon.  One  learnt  by 

Bosom-slave.     A  mistress. 

Boss.  1.  A  master,  head  man, 
one  who  directs  :  from  the  Dutch  boat, 
a  master.  2.  A  short-sighted  person  ; 
also  one  who  squints  :  also  Bosser :  cf. 
Boss-eyed.  3.  A  miss,  blunder.  As 
adj.,  pleasant,  first  rate,  chief.  As 
verb,  (1 )  to  manage,  direct,  control ;  (2) 
to  miss  one's  aim,  make  such  a  shot  as 
a  boss-eyed  (q.v.)  person  would  be  ex- 
pected to  make.  Boss-shot,  a  shot  that 
fails  of  its  mark. 

Bossers.     Spectacles. 

Boss-eyed.  Said  of  a  person  with 
one  eye  (or  rather  with  one  eye  in- 
jured), a  person  with  obliquity  of 
vision,  squinny-eyed  (q.v.),  swivel- 
eyed  (q.v.). 

Bostruchyzer  (Oxford  University). 
A  small  kind  of  comb  for  curling 
the  whiskers  (H often). 

Bot,  Bott,  Botts.  The  colic, 
belly-ache,  gripes  (1787). 

Botanical  Excursion.  Transporta- 
tion :  the  allusion  is  to  Botany  Bay  ( q.  v. ) 

Botany  Bay  (University), 
1.  At  Oxford,  Worcester  College :  on 

Botany  Bay  Fever. 


account  of  its  remote  situation  as  re- 
gards other  collegiate  buildings.  2. 
A  certain  portion  of  Trinity  College, 
Dublin :  for  a  similar  reason.  3. 
Penal  servitude :  formerly  convicts 
[1787-1867]  were  transported  to  Bot- 
any Bay,  a  convict  settlement  at  the 
Antipodes.  Hence  to  go  to  Botany 
Bay,  to  get  a  long  term  of  imprison- 

Botany  Bay  Fever.  Trans- 
portation, penal  servitude. 

Botch.     A  tailor. 

Bottle.  To  turn  out  no  bottle, 
not  to  turn  out  well,  to  fail.  To  pass 
the  bottle  of  smoke,  to  countenance  a 
conventional  tie,  to  cant.  To  look  for  a 
needle  in  a  bottle  of  hay,  to  engage  in  a 
hopeless  search  :  also,  needle  in  a  hay- 
stack. To  bottle  up,  to  restrain  temper 
(or)  feelings,  to  hold  (or  keep)  back 

Bottle  -  ache.  Drunkenness  :  see 
Gallon  distemper. 

Bottle  -  arsed.  Type  thicker  at 
one  end  than  the  other  —  a  result  of 
wear  and  tear. 

Bottle-head.     A  fool :  see  Buffle. 

Bottle-holder.  1.  A  second  at 
a  prize-fight.  2.  One  who  gives  moral 
support,  backer,  adviser  :  in  the  Times 
of  1851,  Lord  Palmerston  was  reported 
to  consider  himself  the  bottle-holder  of 
oppressed  states  :  and  in  Punch  of  the 
same  year,  a  cartoon  appeared  repre- 
senting that  statesman  as  the  judi- 
cious bottle-holder  (1753). 

Bottle  -  holding.  Backing,  sup- 

Bottle  of  Brandy  in  a  Glass. 
A  long  drink,  of  beer. 

Bo ttle  of  Spruce.  Twopence, 
deuce  (q.v.). 

Bottles.  Barrett's  Brewery  and 
Bottling  Co.  Shares. 

Bottle  -  sucker.  An  able  -  bodied 
seaman,  the  abbreviation  is  A.B.S. 

Bottom.  1.  The  posteriors : 
not  now  in  polite  or  literary  use  (1794). 
2.  Capital,  resources,  stamina,  grit 
(1662).  3.  Spirit  placed  in  a  glass  prior 
to  the  addition  of  water.  To  knock  the 
bottom  out  of  one,  to  overcome,  defeat. 
To  stand  on  one's  own  bottom,  to  act 
for  oneself,  to  be  independent. 

Bottom  Dollar.  The  last  dollar. 
To  bet  one's  bottom  dollar,  to  risk  all. 

Bottom  Facts.  The  exact 
truth  about  any  matter.  To  get  to  the 
bottom  facts  concerning  a  subject,  to 

arrive  at  an  unquestionable  conclusion 
concerning  it,  to  get  to  the  root  of  the 
question :  also  Bottom-rock. 

B  o  1 1  y.  An  infant's  posteriors, 
Fr.,  tu  tu.  As  adj.,  conceited,  swag- 
gering: Fr.,  faire  sa  merde,  faire  son 

Bough.  The  gallows :  see  Tree 

Boughs.  Up  in  the  boughs,  in  a 
passion  (Grose). 

Bounce.  1.  Brag,  swagger,  boast- 
ful falsehood,  exaggeration  (1714). 
2.  Impudence,  cheek,  brass  (q.v.).  3. 
A  boaster,  swaggerer,  showy  swindler, 
bully  (1812).  As  verb,  (1)  to  boast, 
bluster,  hector,  bully,  blow  up  (1633) ; 
(2)  to  lie,  to  cheat,  swindle  ( 1762).  On 
the  bounce,  in  a  state  of  spasmodic 
movement,  general  liveliness.  To  get 
the  grand  bounce,  to  be  dismissed:  spec. 
in  reference  to  government  appoint- 

Bounceable.  Prone  to  bounc- 
ing or  boasting,  uppish,  bump- 
tious (1830). 

Bouncer.  1.  A  bully,  hector, 
blusterer,  one  who  talks  swagger- 
ingly  (1748).  2.  A  thief  who  steals 
goods  from  shop  counters  while  bar- 
gaining with  the  tradesman:  Fr., 
degringoleur,  and  (the  practice  itself) 
degringoler  h  la  carre.  3.  A  lie,  a 
liar  (1762).  4.  Anything  large  of  its 
kind,  whopper,  thumper,  corker 
(1596).  5.  Chucker-out  (q.v.).  6.  A 
prostitute's  bully.  7.  A  gun  that 
kicks  when  fired. 

Bouncing.  Vigorous,  lusty,  ex- 
aggerated, excessive,  big  (1563). 

Bouncing  Cheat.     A  bottle. 

Bounder.  1.  A  four-wheeled 
cab,  growler  (q.v.).  2.  A  student 
whose  manners  are  not  acceptable, 
one  whose  companionship  is  not  cared 
for.  3.  A  dog  -  cart.  4.  A  vulgar, 
though  well-dressed  man,  a  superior 
kind  of  'Arry,  one  whose  dress  and 
personal  appearance  are  correct,  but 
whose  manners  are  of  a  questionable 
character.  The  term  is  very  often 
used  in  connection  with  bally  (q.v.). 

Boung.     See  Bung. 

Boung  Nipper.     See  Bung-nipper. 

Bounty-jumper.  A  man  who, 
receiving  a  bounty  when  enlisting, 
deserts,  re-enlists,  and  receives  a 
second  bounty.  The  War  of  the 
Rebellion  is  responsible  for  this,  as 
for  many  other  colloquialisms ;  as 


Bounty -jumping. 


the  conflict  lengthened  out,  men  be- 
came in  great  request,  and  large 
bounties  were  offered  by  the  North 
for  volunteers.  This  bounty  was 
found  to  be  a  direct  incitement  to  bad 
faith  and  unfair  dealing.  Men  would 
enlist,  receive  their  bounty,  join  their 
regiment,  and  then  decamp,  to  re- 
appear in  another  State,  to  go  through 
the  same  performance,  in  some  cases 
many  times  over. 

Bounty- jumping.  Obtaining  a 
bounty  by  enlisting  and  then  deserting. 

Bourbon.  1.  In  American 
politics  a  Democrat  of  the  straitest 
sect ;  a  fire-eater :  applied,  for  the 
most  part,  to  the  Southern  Democrats 
of  the  old  school  —  uncompromising 
adherents  of  political  tradition  —  be- 
hind the  age,  and  unteachable.  2. 
A  superior  kind  of  whisky  :  originally 
that  manufactured  in  Bourbon,  Ken- 

Bouse,  Bowse,  Booze.  1.  Drink 
or  liquor  of  any  kind  (1667).  2.  A 
drinking  bout,  carouse.  As  verb,  to 
drink  to  excess,  tipple,  swill :  both 
this  and  the  substantive  seem  to  have 
been  known  as  early  as  1300,  but 
neither  came  into  general  use  until  the 
sixteenth  century,  from  which  period 
both  forms  have  become  more  and 
more  colloquial :  see  Lush.  Hence, 
bouser,  a  toper ;  bousing,  hard  drink- 
ing ;  and  bousy,  intoxicated  or 
screwed.  To  bouse  the  jib,  to  tipple, 
drink  heavily :  a  different  word — from 
bouse,  to  haul  with  tackle,  i.e.  to  make 
oneself  tight :  see  Screwed. 

Bousing  Ken.  A  tavern,  inn, 
drinking  den :  now  applied  to  a  low 
public  house :  see  Lush  crib  (1567). 

Bouzy.      See  Boozy. 

Bow.  Two  (or  many)  strings  to 
one's  bow,  an  alternative,  more  re- 
sources than  one  (1562).  To  draw 
the  long  bow,  to  exaggerate,  gas, 
talk  up  (1819).  To  draw  the  bow 
up  to  the  ear,  to  do  a  thing  with  alac- 
rity, put  on  full  steam,  exert  oneself 
to  the  utmost.  The  bent  of  one's  bow, 
one's  intention,  inclination,  disposi- 
tion. To  shoot  in  another's  bow,  to 
undertake  another's  work,  practise  an 
art  or  profession  other  than  one's  own. 
By  the  string  rather  than  the  bow,  in  a 
direct  fashion,  by  the  straightest  way 
to  an  end.  To  bend  (or  bring)  to  one's 
bow,  to  control,  compel  to  one's  will 
or  inclination.  To  come  to  one's  bow, 

\   66 

to  be  complaisant,  become  com- 

B  o  w-c  a  t  c  h  e  r.  A  kiss-curl  :  see 
Aggerawator  :  a  corruption  of  beau- 

Bowdlerize.  To  expurgate  by 
removing  words  or  phrases  considered 
offensive  or  questionable  from  a  book 
or  writing  :  from  Dr.  T.  Bowdler's 
method  in  editing  an  edition  of  Shakes- 
peare, in  which,  to  use  his  own  words, 
Those  .  .  .  expressions  are  omitted 
which  cannot  with  propriety  be  read 
aloud  in  a  family  (1836). 

Bower.     A  prison  :  see  Cage. 

Bowery  Boy,  Bowery  Girl.  The 
'Any  and  'Arriet  of  New  York  of  some 
years  ago  :  the  Bowery  was  the  farm  of 
Governor  Stuyvesant 

Bowlas.  Round  tarts  made  of 
sugar,  apple,  and  bread  (May  hew). 

Bowled.      Croppled(q.v.). 

Bowler.     See  Boler. 

Bowles.       Shoes  :   see  Trotter- 

Bowl  Out  To  overcome,  get  the 
better  of,  defeat  (1812). 

Bowl  -  the  -  hoop,  subs,  (rhyming 
slang).  Soup. 

Bowman.  All's  Bowman,  All's 

Bowse.     See  Booze. 

Bowsing  Ken.     See  Bousing  ken. 

Bowsprit.  The  nose.  To  have 
one's  bowsprit  in  parenthesis,  to  have  it 
pulled  :  cf.  To  have  one's  head  in 

Bow-  window.  A  big  belly,  cor- 
poration (q.v.).  Bow-windowed,  big- 
bellied  (1840). 

Bow-wow.  1.  A  childish  name  for 
a  dog  (1800).  2.  A  Bostonian  : 
in  contempt.  3.  A  cavalier,  lover,  spec. 
a  petticoat-dangler  :  cf.  Tame-cat. 

Bow-wow  Mutton.     Dog's  flesh. 

Bow-  wow-  word.  A  term  applied 
sarcastically  by  Max  Mullerto  words 
claimed  as  imitations  of  natural  sounds. 

B  o  w  y  e  r.  One  who  draws  a 
long  bow,  a  dealer  in  the  marvellous, 
a  teller  of  improbable  stories,  a  liar. 

Box.  A  prison  cell.  As  verb 
(Westminster  School),  to  take  posses- 
sion of,  bag.  To  be  in  a  box,  to  be 
cornered,  in  a  fix,  stuck  (or  hung) 
up.  To  be  in  the  wrong  box,  to  be  out 
of  one's  element,  in  a  false  position, 
mistaken  (1555).  On  the  box,  a  man 
when  on  strike  and  in  receipt  of  strike 
pay  is  said  to  be  on  the  box.  To  box 

Box  Hat. 


Harry  (1)  to  take  dinner  and  tea 
together ;  (2)  to  dine  out,  i.e.  to  do 
without  a  meal  at  all.  To  box  the 
compass,  to  repeat  in  succession,  or 
irregularly,  the  thirty-two  points  of 
the  compass ;  beginners,  on  accom- 
plishing this  feat,  are  said  to  be  able 
to  box  the  compass  (1731). 

Box  Hat.     A  silk  hat :  see  Cady. 

Box-irons.  Shoes :  see  Trotter- 
cases  (1789). 

Box  of  Dominoes.  The  mouth. 
[From  box  +  dominoes  (q.v.),  a  slang 
term  for  the  teeth.]  For  synonyms, 
see  Potato-trap. 

Boy.  1.  Champagne,  fiz,  Cham 
(q.v.) :  Fr.,  champ.  [A  story,  ben 
trovato,  is  told  by  the  Sporting  Times 
of  June  30,  1882,  as  regards  the  origin 
of  the  phrase : — At  a  shooting  party 
in  Norfolk  once,  a  youth  was  told  off 
to  supply  the  company  with  cham- 
pagne. The  day  being  hot  and  the 
sportsmen  thirsty,  cries  of  Boy  I 
Boy  !  Boy  !  were  heard  all  day  long. 
This  tickling  the  fancy  of  the  royal  and 
noble  party,  the  term  boy  became 
applied  to  champagne.]  2.  A  hump 
on  a  man's  back:  itis  common  to  speak 
of  a  humpbacked  man  as  two  persons 
— him  and  his  boy.  3.  (Anglo- 
Indian  and  colonial).  A  servant  of 
whatever  age.  Old  boy  (1)  a  familiar 
term  of  address  :  spec,  a  father,  the 
guv' nor,  the  boss;  (2)  The  devil.  Yellow 
boy,  a  guinea ;  also,  one  pound  sterling  : 
see  Rhino.  Angry  (or  roaring  boys), 
a  set  of  young  bucks,  bloods,  or  blades 
(q.v.),  of  noisy  manners  and  fire- 
eating  tastes :  Nares  says,  like  the 
Mohawks  (q.v.)  described  by  the 
Spectator,  they  delighted  to  commit 
outrages  and  get  into  quarrels ;  early 
mention  is  made  of  such  characters ; 
Wilson,  in  his  Life  of  James  I.  (1653), 
gives  an  account  of  their  origin  : — 
The  king  minding  his  sports,  many 
riotous  demeanours  crept  into  the 
kingdom ;  divers  sects  of  vicious 
persons,  going  under  the  title  of  roar- 
ing boys,  bravadoes,  roysterers,  etc., 
commit  many  insolencies  ;  the  streets 
swarm,  night  and  day,  with  bloody 
quarrels,  private  duels  fomented,  etc. 
(1599).  Boys  of  the  holy  ground,  for- 
merly [1800-25]  bands  of  roughs  in- 
festing a  well  -  known  region  in  St. 
Giles  :  see  Holy-land. 

Boycott.  To  combine  in  refusing 
to  hold  relations  of  any  kind,  social  or 

commercial,  public  or  private,  with  a 
person,  on  account  of  political  or  other 
differences,  so  as  to  punish  or  coerce 
him.  The  word  arose  in  the  autumn 
of  1880 — Capt.  Boycott,  an  Irish  land- 
lord, was  the  original  victim — to  de- 
scribe the  action  instituted  by  the  Irish 
LandLeague  toward  those  who  incurred 
its  hostility.  It  was  speedily  adopted 
into  every  European  language (0. E.D.) 

Brace.  To  get  credit  by  swagger. 
To  brace  it  through,  to  succeed  by  dint 
of  sheer  impudence. 

Bracelets.  Handcuffs ;  fetters 
for  the  wrist:  Fr.,  alliances  (properly 
wedding  rings),  also  tartouve  and 
lacets  :  see  Darbies  (1661). 

Brace  of  Shakes.  A  moment, 
jiffy,  twinkling  of  an  eye,  etc. : 
see  Shakes. 

Brace  Up.  1.  To  pawn  stolen  goods 
to  their  utmost  value.  2.  To  take  a 

Bracket- faced.  Ugly,  hard- 
featured  (Grose). 

Bracket-mug.     An  ugly  face. 

Brads.  Generic  for  money :  see 
Rhino  (1812).  To  tip  the  brads,  to 
pay,  shell  out. 

Brag.     A  usurer,  Jew. 

Braggadocia.  Three  months'  im- 
prisonment as  a  reputed  thief. 

Brain.  Cuteness,  cleverness,  nous 
(q.v.).  Hence  brainy,  smart,  clever, 
up-to-date.  Phrases :  To  beat  (break, 
busy,  cudgel,  drag,  or  puzzle)  one's 
brains,  to  exert  oneself  to  thought  or 
contrivance.  To  crack  one's  brains, 
to  become  crazy.  On  the  brain,  crazy 
about  (a  matter).  To  turn  one's 
brain,  to  bewilder,  flummox.  A  dry 
brain,  silly,  stupid,  barren  brain.  A 
hot  brain  an  inventive  fancy.  Boiled 
brains,  a  hot-headed  person.  To  bear 
a  brain,  to  be  cautious.  To  suck  (or 
pick)  a  person's  brains,  to  get  and  ap- 
propriate information.  Of  the  same 
brain,  identical  in  conception  or 

Brain-pan  (or  Box.)  1.  The  skull, 
or  skull-cap  :  also  Brain-canister ;  the 
Scotch  equivalent  is  Hani  pan  2, 
The  head  (1520). 

A  cunning  devio  . 
A    wriggling    dis- 

Brain-  trick. 

Brain  -  worm, 
putant  (1645). 

Brain  -  brat, 
fancy  (1630), 

bee  (1851). 

A    creature  of  the 
A   craze,  crotchet, 




Brain  -  worm.  A  wriggling  dis- 
putant (1643). 

Bramble.  A  lawyer ;  a  tangle  of 
the  law. 

Bramble-gel  der.  An  agricul- 
turist :  a  Suffolk  term. 

Bran.     A  loaf. 

Branded  Ticket  A  discharge  given 
to  an  infamous  man,  on  which  his 
character  is  given,  and  the  reason  he 
is  turned  out  of  the  service  (Smyth). 

Brandy.  Brandy  is  Latin  for  goose 
(or  for  fish),  this  punning  vulgarism 
appears  first  in  Swift's  Polite  Conversa- 
tion ;  the  pun  is  on  the  word  answer. 
Anscr  is  the  Latin  for  goose,  which 
brandy  follows  as  surely  and  quickly 
as  an  answer  follows  a  question. 

Brandy  Face.  A  tippler,  drunkard : 
spec,  one  whose  favourite  drink  is 
brandy:  see  Lushington  (1687). 

Brandy-faced.   Red-faced,  bloated. 

Brandy  Pawnee.  Brandy  and 
water  (1816). 

Brandy  Smash.  An  American 
drink  of  brandy  and  crushed  ice. 

Bran-mash.  Bread  sopped  in  coffee 
or  tea. 

Brass.  1.  Impudence,  effrontery, 
unblushing  hardness,  shamelessness, 
etc.  (1594).  2.  Generic  for  money: 
see  Rhino  (1526). 

Brass-  basin.  A  barber,  surgeon- 
barber  (1599). 

Brass-face.     An  impudent  person. 

Brass-bound  and  Copper  Fast- 
ened. Said  of  a  lad  dressed  in  a 
midshipman's  uniform  (W.  Clark 

Brass-bounder.     A  midshipman. 

Brasser  (Christ's  Hospital).  A 

Brass  Farthing  (or  Farde).  The 
lowest  limit  of  value  (1642). 

Brass  Knocker.  Broken  victuals, 
the  remains  of  a  meal :  specially  ap- 
plied by  beggars  to  the  scraps  often 
bestowed  upon  them  in  place  of  money. 

Brass-plate  Merchant  A  dealer 
who  merely  procures  orders  for  coal, 
gets  some  merchant  who  buys  in  the 
market  to  execute  them  in  his  name, 
and  manages  to  make  a  living  by  the 
profits  of  these  transactions  (May hew). 

Brassy.  Impudent,  impertinent, 
shameless  (1570). 

Brat  1.  A  child  :  almost  invari- 
ably in  contempt  (1505).  2.  A  rag, 
shabby  clothes,  or  other  articles  that 
arc  mere  rags. 

Brattery.      A  nursery  ( 1 788). 

Bratful.     An  apronful. 

Brazen-faced.  Shameless,  impud- 
ent, unblushing,  with  a  face  as  of  brass, 
or  as  if  rubbed  with  a  brass  candlestick 

Bread.  Employment  Out  of 
bread,  out  of  work.  Phrases :  To  know 
on  which  side  one's  bread  is  buttered, 
to  recognise  one's  interests.  To 
take  the  oread  out  of  one's  mouth,  to 
deprive  of  the  means  of  livelihood. 
Bread  buttered  on  both  sides,  the  height 
of  good  fortune,  the  best  of  luck.  No 
bread  and  butter  of  mine,  no  concern 
(or  business)  of  mine  (1764). 

Bread-artist  One  working  merely 
to  gain  a  living :  cf.  Potboiler. 

Bread  and  Butter  Warehouse, 
phr.  (old).  Ranelagh  Gardens. 

Bread-and-cheese.  Plain  living, 
needful  food. 

Bread  and  Meat  The  commis- 

Bread  Bags.  A  nickname  given 
in  the  army  and  navy  to  any  one  con- 
nected with  the  victualling  depart- 
ment, as  a  purser  or  purveyor  in  the 
commissariat :  at  one  time  called 
muckers :  Fr.,  riz-pain-sel. 

Bread-barge.  The  distributing 
basket  or  tray  containing  the  rations 
of  biscuits. 

Bread-basket  The  stomach.  Eng- 
lish synonyms:  bread-room,  dumpling- 
depot,  victualling-office,  porridge- bowl 

Bread-picker  (Winchester  Col- 
lege). The  four  senior  prefects  used 
to  appoint  juniors  to  this  office, 
which  was  nominal,  but  which  carried 
with  it  exemption  from  fagging  at 
meal  times.  No  notion  book  states 
in  what  the  office  consisted,  but  it  is 
supposed  that  it  relates  to  times  when 
juniors  had  to  secure  the  bread,  etc., 
served  out  for  their  masters. 

Bread-room.  The  stomach,  bread- 
basket (1760)  (q.v.). 

Bread -room  Jack.  A  purser's 

Break.  1.  A  collection  (of  money) 
usually  got  up  by  a  prisoner's  friends, 
either  to  defray  the  expenses  of  his  de- 
fence, or  as  a  lift  when  leaving  prison. 
2.  Formerly  and  more  generally  ap- 
plied to  a  pause  in  street  performances 
to  enable  the  hat  to  be  passed  round : 
cf.  Lead.  Tn  l>rmk  one's  barl\  tobecome 
bankrupt  (1601).  To  break  one's  egg: 



see  Crack  one's  egg.  Tobreak  out  all  over 
(or  in  a  fresh  spot),  expressions  in  com- 
mon use — in  the  one  case  conveying 
an  idea  of  completeness ;  and,  in  the 
other,  of  commencing  some  new  under- 
taking, or  assuming  a  different  posi- 
tion whether  in  an  argument  or  action. 
To  break  shins,  to  borrow  money. 
To  break  the  balls,  to  commence  play- 
ing. To  break  the  molasses  jug,  to  come 
to  grief,  to  make  a  mistake.  To  break 
the  neck  or  back  of  anything,  to  ac- 
complish the  major  portion  of  a  task, 
be  near  the  end  of  an  undertaking,  be 
past  the  middle  of  same.  To  break  a 
straw  with,  to  fall  out  with.  To  break 
a  lance  with,  to  enter  into  competition 
with.  To  break  Priscian's  head,  to 
violate  the  laws  of  grammar.  To 
break  the  neck  of  a  thing  (or  matter),  to 
get  through  the  serious  part  of  it. 
To  break  the  ice,  to  commence,  prepare 
the  way.  To  break  no  squares,  to  do 
no  harm. 

Break-down.  1.  A  measure  of  liquor. 
2.  A  noisy  dance,  a  convivial  gather- 
ing :  the  term  was,  at  first,  specially 
applied  to  a  negro  dance,  but  is  now 
in  general  use  in  England  in  a  humor- 
ous sense.  To  break  down,  to  dance 
riotously,  be  boisterous,  spreeish. 

Break-o'-day  Drum.  A  drinking 
saloon  which  keeps  its  doors  open  aU 

Breaky-leg.  1.  Intoxicating 
drink  ;  see  Drinks.  2.  A  shilling. 

Breast  Fleet.  Roman  Catholics  ; 
from  their  practice  of  crossing  them- 
selves on  the  breast  as  an  act  of  devo- 
tion (Grose). 

Breath.  Change  your  breath,  an 
injunction  to  adopt  a  different  manner 
or  bearing.  An  offensive,  slang  ex- 
pression which,  originating  in  Cali- 
fornia, quickly  ran  its  course  through 
the  Union. 

Breath-bubble.  An  empty  thing, 
trifle  (1835). 

Breath-seller.  LA  perfumer 
(1601).  2.  A  paid  speaker. 

Breech.  To  flog :  formerly  in 
literary  use,  but  now  fallen  into  des- 
uetude (1557). 

Breeched.  Well  off,  with  plenty  of 
money  ;  well  breeched,  in  good  circum- 
stances: cf.  Ballasted.  Fr.,  deculotte 
(= bankrupt,  i.e.  unbreeched). 

Breeches.  Ironically  applied  to  the 
Commonwealth  coinage ;  suggested 
by  the  arrangement  of  two  shields 

on  the  reverse  side  of  the  coin.  To 
wear  the  breeches,  to  usurp  a  husband's 
prerogative,  be  master  (1450) :  cf. 
the  grey  mare  is  the  better  horse  of 
the  two. 

Breeching.  A  flogging  (q.v.), 
formerly  in  general  use  (1520). 

Breef.     See  Brief. 

Breeze.  A  row,  quarrel,  disturb- 
ance, coolness  (Grose). 

Brekker.     Breakfast. 

Brevet  Hell.  A  battle :  the  term 
originated  during  the  American  Civil 

Brevet-wife.  A  woman  who  takes 
a  man's  name,  and  enjoys  all  the 
privileges  of  a  wife. 

Brew  (Marlborough  School).  To 
make  afternoon  tea. 

Brewer's  Horse.  A  drunkard:  see 

Brian  o'  Linn.     GUI  :  see  Drinks. 

Briar,  Brier.     A  brier-wood  pipe. 

Brick.  A  good  fellow ;  one  whose 
staunchness  and  loyalty  commend  him 
to  his  fellows  :  said  to  be  of  University 
origin,  the  simile  being  drawn  from 
the  classics  (1835).  As  verb,  to  pun- 
ish a  man  by  bringing  the  knees  close 
up  to  the  chin,  and  lashing  the  arms 
tightly  to  the  knees  —  a  species  of 
trussing.  Like  a  brick  (like  bricks,  or 
like  a  thousand  of  bricks),  with  energy, 
alacrity,  thoroughly,  vehemently  and 
with  much  display.  Brick  in  the  hat, 
top  -  heavy,  inability  to  preserve  a 
steady  gait:  of  drunken  men. 

Brick- duster.     See  Brick-fielder. 

Brickdusts.  The  Fifty-third 
Regiment  of  Foot,  now  The  King's 
(Shropshire  Light  Infantry),  from  its 

Brickfielder  (or  Brickduster).  In 
Sydney  the  name  given  to  a  dust  or 
sand  storm  brought  by  southerly 
winds  from  sand  hills  locally  known 
as  the  Brickfields — hence  the  name : 
also  the  Buster  or  Southerly  Burster. 

Bricklayer.     A  clergyman. 

Bricklayer's  Clerk.  A  lubberly 

Bricks  (Wellington  College).  A 
sort  of  pudding. 

BrickWall.  To  run  one's  head 
against  a  brick  wall,  to  pursue  a  course 
obstinately  to  certain  disaster,  ruin, 
or  death. 

Bridge.  A  cheating  trick  at 
cards,  by  which  any  particular  card 
is  cut  by  previously  curving  it  by  the 



Broiled  Crow. 

pressure  of  tho  hand :  Fr.,le  pont  gee. 
To  throw  a  person  over  the  bridge,  to 
deceive  him  by  betraying  the  con- 
fidence he  has  reposed  in  you.  Betide 
the  bridge,  off  the  track,  astray.  A 
gold  (or  silver)  bridge,  an  easy  way  of 

Bridle-cull.   A  highwayman  (1754). 

Bridport  (or  Brydport)  Dagger. 
The  hangman's  rope.  To  be  stabbed 
with  a  Bridport  dagger,  to  be  hanged 

Brief.  1.  A  ticket  of  any  kind — 
railway  pass,  pawnbroker's  duplicate, 
raffle  ticket  2.  A  pocket  book.  Hence 
briefless,  ticketless. 

Briefs  (or  Breefs).  Prepared  cards 
( 1 529 ).  [Take  a  pack  of  cards  and  open 
them,  then  take  out  all  the  honours 
.  .  .  and  cut  a  little  from  the  edges  of 
the  rest  all  alike,  so  as  to  make  the 
honours  broader  than  the  rest,  so  that 
when  your  adversary  cuts  to  you,  you 
are  certain  of  an  honour.  When  you 
cut  to  your  adversary  cut  at  the  ends, 
and  then  it  is  a  chance  if  you  cut  him 
an  honour,  because  the  cards  at  the 
ends  are  all  of  a  length.  Thus  you 
may  make  breefs  end-ways  as  well  as 
side-ways]  (Hotten). 

Brief -snatcher.  A  pocket-book 
thief  (q.v.). 

Brier  (or  Briar).  In  pi.  difficulty, 
trouble,  vexation.  In  the  briars,  in 
trouble  (1509). 

Brigh.      A  pocket,  cly,  skyrocket. 

Bright  Bright  in  the  eye,  tipsy : 
see  Screwed. 

Brighton  Tipper.  A  particular 
brew  of  ale. 

Brim.  A  prostitute :  i.e.  Brim- 
stone (q.v.)  (1730).  2.  An  angry, 
violent  woman,  or  a  termagant,  with- 
out reference  to  moral  character. 

Brimstone.  1.  A  violent  tempered 
woman,  virago,  spitfire  (1712).  2.  A 

Briney  (or  Briny).  The  sea  ( 1856). 
English  synonyms,  herring  pond,  big 
pond,  big  drink,  the  puddle,  Davy's 

Bring.  To  bring  down  the  house, 
to  elicit  loud  applause ;  and,  figur- 
atively, to  be  successful  (1754). 

Brisket- beater.  A  Roman  Catholic: 
cf.  Breast-fleet,  and  Craw-thumper 

Bristle.  To  set  up  one's  bristles, 
to  show  temper. 

Bristle    Dice    or    Bristles,    subs. 

A  method  of  cogging  dice  by  inserting 
bristles  into  them,  and  thus  influencing 
the  position  of  the  cubes  when  thrown 

Bristol  Milk.  Sherry :  formerly 
a  large  import  of  the  city  of  Bristol : 
see  Drinks  (1644). 

Broach.  To  broach  claret,  to 
draw  blood. 

Broad.  Knowing,  cute,  smart : 
cf.  Wide.  Phrases :  In  the  broad  or  the 
long,  in  one  way  or  another.  It's  as 
broad  as  it's  long,  there's  no  difference, 
there's  not  a  pin  to  choose  between 

Broad  and  Shallow.  An 
epithet  applied  to  the  Broad  Church 
party,  in  contradistinction  to  the 
High  and  Low  Churches :  see  High 
and  dry. 

Broadbottoms.  A  nickname  of 
two  Coalition  Governments,  one  in  the 
last  century  [1741],  and  the-  other  in 

Broadbrim.  A  Quaker :  the  origin 
of  this  expression  is  to  be  found  in  the 
hat  once  peculiar  to  the  Society  of 
Friends  (1712). 

Broad  -  cooper.  A  person  em- 
ployed by  brewers  to  negotiate  with 

Broad  Cove.  A  card  -  sharper : 
FT.,  bremeur  (1821). 

Broad-faking.  Playing  at 
cards :  spec,  work  of  the  three  card 
and  kindred  descriptions. 

Broad-fencer.  A  k'rect  card  vendor. 

Broads.     Playing  cards  ( 1 789). 

Broadsman.     A  card-sharper. 

Broady  1.  Cloth:  a  corruption 
of  broadcloth  (1851).  2.  Anything 
worth  stealing. 

Broady  Worker.  A  man  who  goes 
round  selling  shoddy  stuff  under  the 
pretence  that  it  is  excellent  material, 
which  has  been  got  on  the  cross,  i.e. 

Brock  (Winchester  College).  To 
bully,  tease,  badger. 

Brockster  (Winchester  College).  A 

Brogues  (Christ's  Hospital). 
Breeches :  in  reality  an  obsolete  old 
English  term  which  has  survived 
among  the  Blues. 

Broiled  (or  Boiled)  Crow.  To  eat 
boiled  crow,  a  newspaper  editor,  who  is 
obliged  by  his  party,  or  other  outside 
influences,  to  advocate  principles  dif- 
ferent from  those  which  he  supported 




a  short  time  before,  is  said  to  eat 
boiled  crow. 

Broke.  Dead  broke  (or  stone 
broke),  ruined,  decayed,  hard  up — of 
health  or  pecuniary  circumstances : 
Fr.,  pas  un  radis. 

Broken  Feather  in  One's  Wing. 
A  blot  on  one's  character. 

Broken-kneed  (or  legged). 

Brolly.  An  umbrella :  first  used 
at  Winchester  and  subsequently 
adopted  at  both  Oxford  and  Cam- 
bridge Universities. 

Broncho.  Unruly,  wild,  savage : 
from  the  name  of  the  native  horse  of 
California,  a  somewhat  tricky  and  un- 
certain quadruped ;  familiarly  applied 
to  horses  that  buck  and  show  other 
signs  of  vice  :  the  Spanish  signification 
of  the  word  is  rough  and  crabbed  little 
beast,  and  in  truth  he  deserves  this 

Broncho-buster.  A  breaker-in  of 
bronchos,  a  flash-rider. 

Bronze  John.  A  Texas  name  for 
yellow  fever ;  commonly  called  Yel- 
low Jack  (q.v.). 

Broom,  subs.  (old).  A  warrant 
(1815).  As  verb,  to  runaway:  see  Bunk. 

Broomstick.  A  sort  of  rough 
cricket  bat,  very  narrow  in  the  blade  : 
all  of  one  piece  of  wood.  To  jump 
the  broomstick  (hop  the  broom,  jump 
the  besom),  to  go  through  a  quasi 
marriage  ceremony  by  jumping  over 
a  broomstick  (1774). 

Broomsticks.  Worthless  bail, 
straw-bail  (1812). 

Brosier  (or  Brozier)  (Eton  Col- 
lege). A  boy  when  he  had  spent  all 
his  pocket  money  :  brozier  is  Cheshire 
for  bankrupt.  Broziered,  cleaned  out, 
done  up,  mined,  bankrupt  (1796). 
Brozier-my-dame  (Eton  College),  eat- 
ing one  out  of  house  and  home  :  when 
a  dame  (q.v.)  keeps  an  unusually  bad 
table,  the  boys  agree  together  on  a 
day  to  eat,  pocket,  or  waste  every- 
thing eatable  in  the  house.  The 
censure  is  well  understood,  and  the 
hint  is  generally  effective  (1850). 

Broth.  Breath.  To  make  white 
broth  of,  to  boil  to  death.  A  broth  of 
a  boy,  a  downright  good  fellow. 

Brother  -  blade.  A  soldier  :  see 
Mudcrusher  (Grose). 

Brother  Chip.  One  of  the  same 
calling  or  trade :  formerly  a  fellow- 
carpenter  (1820). 

Brother  of  the  Brush.  An  artist,  a 
house- painter  (1687). 

Brother  of  the  Bung.  A  brewer ; 
one  of  the  same  trade. 

Brother  of  the  Buskin.  A  player, 
actor — one  of  the  same  profession. 

Brother  of  the  Coif.  A  serjeant- 
at-law  :  the  coif  was  a  close-fitting  cap 
worn  by  the  serjeants-at-law  (Grose). 

Brother  of  the  Quill.  An  author 

Brother  of  the  String.     A  fiddler. 

Brother  of  the  Whip.  A  coachman 

Brother  -  smut  A  term  of  famili- 
arity :  e.g.  Ditto,  brother  or  sister 
smut,  tu  quoque. 

Brpughtonian.  A  bruiser,  boxer, 
pugilist :  from  Broughton,  once  the 
best  boxer  of  his  day. 

Brown.  1.  A  halfpenny :  see 
Rhino  (1812).  2.  Porter:  an  ab- 
breviation of  Brown  Stout.  As  verb, 

(1)  to  do  brown,  to  get  the  better  of  ; 

(2)  to  understand,  comprehend.     To 
do  broum,  to  do  well,  take  in,  deceive, 
exceed  bounds  (1600). 

Brown  Bess.  1.  Yes.  2.  The  old 
regulation  musket.  3.  A  prostitute 
(1631).  To  hug  broum  Bess,  to  serve 
as  a  private  soldier. 

Brown  George.  1.  A  wig,  of  the 
colour  of  over- baked  ginger-bread : 
modish  during  the  latter  half  of  the 
last  century.  2.  A  jug :  generally  of 
brown  earthenware :  cf.  Black-jack. 
3.  A  coarse  brown  loaf,  or  hard  biscuit 

Brownie.     The  polar  bear. 

Brown  Janet.     A  knapsack. 

B  r  o  w  n  J  o  e.  No  :  cf.  Brown 
Bess,  Yes. 

Brown  -  paperman.  A  gambler 
in  pence. 

Brown-paper  warrant.  A  warrant 
given  by  a  captain  :  this  he  can  cancel 

Brown  Stone.     Beer  :  see  Drinks. 

Brown-study.  Mental  abstraction, 
musing,  thoughtful  absentminded- 
ness,  idle  reverie. 

Brown  Talk.  Conversation  of 
an  exceedingly  proper  character :  cf. 

Browse.  To  idle,  loll,  take 
things  easy.  A  browse  morning,  one 
in  which  there  is  little  work. 

Bruise.  To  fight,  box  —  gen- 
erally with  the  idea  of  mauling.  To 
bruise  along,  to  pound  along. 




Bruiser.  1.  A  prize-fighter, 
boxer  (  1  744).  2.  A  prostitute's  bully. 
S.  One  fond  of  fighting.  4.  Generic  for 
a  rowdy  or  buDy  :  sometimes,  how- 
ever, limited  in  its  application  to  a 
particular  band  of  ruffians,  as  once 
in  Baltimore. 

Bruising.  Prize  -  fighting,  boxing 

B  r  u  m.  1.  A  counterfeit  com  : 
contracted  form  of  Brummagem  (q.v.), 
spec,  counterfeit  groats  (about  1691). 

2.  Anything  counterfeit,  not  genuine. 

3.  Copper  money  struck  by  Boulton 
and   Watt  at  their  works  at  Soho, 
Birmingham  (1787).     4.  An  inhabit- 
ant of  Birmingham.      As  adj.  (Win- 
chester College),  mean,  poor,  stingy  : 
the  superlative  is  dead  brum. 

Brumby.  A  wild  horse  :  the  Anti- 
podean counterpart  of  the  American 

Brummagem.  1.  Birmingham.  2. 
Base  money  of  various  denominations 
—especially  groats  in  17th  century  — 
hence  anything  spurious  or  unreal 
(1691).  As  adj.,  counterfeit,  unreal, 
sham,  showy,  pretentious  (1637). 

Brummagem  Buttons.  Counter- 
feit coin  (1836). 

Brummish.  Doubtful,  counterfeit 

B  r  u  m  s.  London  and  North 
Western  Stock  :  formerly  the  London 
and  Birmingham  Railway. 

Brush.  1.  See  Brother  of  the 
Brush.  2.  A  hasty  departure  (1750). 
3.  A  person  who  decamps  hastily,  or 
who  evades  his  creditors  (1748).  As 
verb,  (1)  to  flog,  thrash  :  e.g.  to  brush 
one's  jacket:  cf.  Dust;  (2)  to  run  away, 
decamp  :  also  to  brush  off  (1696). 

Brusher.  1.  A  full  glass.  2.  One 
that  gets  or  steals  away  privately 
(Dyche).  3.  A  schoolmaster.  As 
verb,  to  humbug  by  flattery.  To 
brush  tip  a  flat,  to  use  mealy-mouthed 
words,  lay  it  on  thick,  soft  soap  (q.v.). 

Brute.  A  man  who  has  not  yet 
matriculated  :  the  play  is  evident  —  A 
man,  in  college  phrase,  is  a  collegian  ; 
and  as  matriculation  is  the  sign  and 
seal  of  acceptance,  a  scholar  before 
that  ceremony  is  not  a  man,  only  a 
biped  brute. 

Brydport   Dagger.     See   Bridport 

.  T.  I.  An  abbreviation  of  A  big 
thing  on  ice  :  cf.  P.D.Q.,  O.K.,  N.G., 

Bub.  1.  Strong  drink  of  any 
kind :  usually  applied  to  malt  liquor. 
To  take  bub  and  grub,  to  eat  and  drink 
(1671).  2.  A  woman's  breast:  gen- 
erally in  plural— bubbles  (q.v.).  3. 
A  brother.  4.  A  term  of  affection 
applied  to  a  little  boy  :  also  a  familiar 
address.  5.  An  abbreviated  form  of 
bubble  (q.v.).  As  verb,  (1)  to  drink 
(1671) ;  (2)  to  bribe,  cheat:  cf.  Bub- 
ble (1719). 

Bubber.  1.  A  hard  drinker,  con- 
firmed tippler:  see  Lushington:  FT., 
bibassier  (1653).  2.  A  drinking  bowl 
( 1696).  3.  A  public-house  thief  (1 785). 
4.  An  old  woman  with  large  pendulous 

Bubbies.  A  woman's  breasts 

B  u  b  b  i  n  g.  Drinking,  tippling 

Bubble.  A  dupe,  gull,  caravan 
(q.v.);  and  rook  (q.v.)  (1598).  As 
verb,  to  cheat,  humbug,  delude  aa 
with  bubbles,  to  overreach  (1664). 

Bubbleable.  That  can  be  duped, 
gullible  (1669). 

Bubble  and  Squeak.  Cold  meat 
fried  up  with  potatoes  and  greens 

Bubble-buff.     A  bailiff. 

Bubble  Company.  A  swindling 
association,  enterprise,  or  project : 
the  South  Sea  Bubble  will  occur  to 
mind  (1754). 

Bubbled.  Gulled,  deceived,  be- 
fooled (1683). 

Bubbling-squeak.     Hot  soup. 

Bubbly  Jock.  1.  A  turkey  cock, 
gobbler  (Grose).  2.  A  stupid  boaster. 
3.  A  pert,  conceited,  pragmatical 
fellow  ;  a  prig  ;  a  cad. 

Bubby.     See  Bub  and  Bubbies. 

Bucco.     A  dandy,  buck  (q.v.). 

Buck,  1.  In  the  first  instance  a 
man  of  spirit  or  gaiety  of  conduct ; 
later  a  fop,  a  dandy  (1725).  2.  An 
unlicensed  cabdriver  :  also  a  sham  fare 
(1851).  3.  A  sixpence  :  thought  to  be 
a  corruption  of  fyebuck  (q.v.) :  rarely 
used  by  itself,  but  denotes  the  sixpence 
attached  to  shillings  in  reference  to 
cost,  aa,  three  and  a  buck,  three  shil- 
lings and  sixpence :  see  Rhino.  4. 
A  large  marble.  5.  A  term  used  in 
poker.  As  adj.,  at  Princeton  College 
anything  which  is  of  an  intensive 
degree,  good,  excellent,  pleasant  or 
agreeable,  is  called  buck.  As  verb, 
(1)  to  oppose,  run  counter  to ;  (2)  Ap- 


Buck  Bait. 


plied  to  horses  this  term  describes  the 
action  of  plunging  forward  and  throw- 
ing the  head  to  the  ground  in  an 
effort  to  unseat  the  rider.  (3)  To  cook 
(q.v.) :  of  accounts.  (4)  To  play 
against  the  bank,  usually,  to  buck  the 
tiger.  (5)  To  put  forth  one's  whole 
energy.  To  run  a  buck,  to  poll  a  bad 
vote  at  an  election  (Orose).  To  buck 
(or  fight)  the  tiger,  to  gamble.  To 
buck  down  (Winchester  College),  to  be 
sorry,  unhappy.  To  be  bucked,  to  be 
tired.  To  buck  up  (Winchester  Col- 
lege), to  be  glad,  pleased :  the  usual 
expression  is  Oh,  buck  up,  a  phrase 
which  at  Westminster  School  would 
have  a  very  different  meaning,  namely 
exert  yourself ;  at  Uppingham  to  be 
bucked  (q.v.)  is  to  be  tired. 

Buck  Bait.  Bail  given  by  a  con- 

Buckeen.  1.  A  bully  (Orose).  2.  A 
younger  son  of  the  poorer  aristocracy. 

Bucket.  An  anonymous  letter. 
As  verb,  (1)  to  ride  hard,  not  to  spare 
one's  beast ;  (2)  to  cheat,  ruin,  deceive 
(1812) ;  (3)  to  take  the  water  unfairly 
— with  a  scoop  at  the  beginning  of  the 
stroke  instead  of  a  steady  even  pull 
throughout.  To  give  the  bucket,  to 
dismiss  from  one's  employment,  send 
a  person  about  his  business  :  see  Bag 
and  Sack.  To  kick  the  bucket,  to  die  : 
the  bucket  here  is  thought  to  refer  to  a 
Norfolk  term  for  a  pulley  ;  when  pigs 
are  killed  they  are  hung  by  their  hind 
legs  on  a  bucket  (Grose). 

Bucket-afloat.     A  coat. 

Bucket  Shop.  1.  A  stock  gambling 
den  carried  on  in  opposition  to  regular 
exchange  business,  and  usually  of  a 
more  than  doubtful  character.  2.  A 
low  groggery,  lottery  office,  gambling 
den,  etc. 

Buckeye.  A  native  of  Ohio. 
Buck-eye  State,  Ohio. 

Buck  Face.     A  cuckold. 

Buck  Fitch.     An  old  rou6. 

Buckhara.  A  cattle-driver,  cow- 

Buckhorse.  A  smart  blow,  box 
on  the  ear :  from  the  name  of  a  cele- 
brated bruiser  of  that  name ;  Buck- 
horse  was  a  man  who  either  possessed 
or  professed  insensibility  to  pain,  and 
who  would  for  a  small  sum  allow  any- 
one to  strike  him  with  the  utmost  force 
on  the  side  of  the  face  ;  his  real  name 
was  John  Smith,  and  he  fought  in 
public  1732-46. 

Buckish.  Foppish,  dandyish 

Buck  -  jump.  A  jump  made  in 
buck  (q.v.)  fashion. 

Buckle.  1.  To  marry  (1693). 
2.  To  buckle  to,  to  undertake,  grapple 
with,  slip  in,  work  vigorously  (1557). 
To  buckle  down,  to  settle  down,  be- 
come reconciled  to,  knuckle  down 

Buckle-beggar.  A  Fleet  parson; 
also  one  who  celebrated  irregular 
marriages,  a  hedge  priest,  one  who 
undertook  similar  offices  for  gipsies 
and  tramps  (1700). 

Buckle- bosom.  A  catchpoll,  con- 

Buckled.     Arrested,  scragged. 

Buckler.     A  collar. 

Bucklers.    Fetters.     See  Darbies. 

Buckram.  Men  in  buckram,  non- 
existent persons :  in  allusion  to  Fal- 
staff's  four  men  in  buckram. 

Bucksome  (Winchester  College). 
Happy,  in  a  state  of  buck-uppishness  : 
see  Buck-up. 

Bud.  An  endearment :  of  children 
or  young  persons. 

Budge.     1.  A  pick -pocket  (1671). 

2.  An  accomplice  who  gains  access  to  a 
building  during  the  day  for  the  pur- 
pose of  being  locked  in,  so  that  he  can, 
when  night  comes,  admit  his  fellow 
thieves:   also  sneaking  -  budge  (1752). 

3.  Drink,  liquor  :  see  Drinks.     Budgy, 
drunk.     Budging-ken,  a  public  house. 
Cove  of  the  budging-ken,  a  publican. 
Budger,  a  drunkard  (1821).     As  verb, 
to  move,  to  make  tracks. 

B  u  d  g  e  -  a  -  beake.  To  run  away 
(presumably  from  justice) :  cf.  to  bilk 
the  blues  (q.v.)  (1610). 

Budger.  A  drunkard:  see  Lush- 

Budget.  To  open  one's  budget,  to 
speak  one's  mind. 

Budging  -  ken.  A  public  house : 
see  Lush-crib  (1821). 

Budgy.  Drunk,  intoxicated:  see 

Bud  of  Promise.  A  young  un- 
married woman :  see  Rosebud  and 

Buenos  Ayres.  The  Royal  Crescent 
at  Margate  at  the  extreme  end  of  the 
town  used  to  be  so  called  :  the  houses 
remained  unfinished  for  a  very  con- 
siderable time  (H.  J.  Byron). 

Bufe.  A  dog:  from  the  sound  of 
its  bark  (1567). 




Bufe  -  nabber  (or  napper).  A  dog 
thief  (q.v.)  (Grose). 

Buff.  1.  The  bare  skin  (1054). 
2.  A  man,  fellow:  also  Buffer  (q.v.) 
(1708).  3.  Foolish  talk  (1721).  To 
buff  it,  (1)  to  swear  to,  adhere  to  a 
statement  hard  and  fast,  stand  firm : 
also  to  buff  it  home  (1812) ;  (2)  to  strip, 
bare  oneself  to  the  buff  or  skin  (1581). 
In  buff,  naked,  in  a  state  of  nudity 
(1602).  To  stand  buff,  to  stand  the 
brunt,  pay  the  piper,  endure  without 
flinching  (1680).  To  say  neither  buff 
nor  baff  (not  to  say  buff  to  a  wolfs 
shadow,  or  to  know  neither  buff  nor 
stye),  to  say  neither  one  thing  nor 
another,  to  know  nothing  at  all. 

B  u  ff  a  r  d.  A  foolish  fellow :  cf. 

Buff  -  coat.  A  soldier,  one  who 
wears  a  buff  coat  (1670). 

Buffer.  1.  A  dog:  this  term  in 
varying  forms  from  1567  down  to  the 
present  time — Harman  gives  it  as  bufe 
(1567)  and  bufa  (1573) ;  Rowlands  as 
buffa  (1610) ;  Head  as  bugher  (1673) ; 
whilst  in  The  Memorials  of  John  Hall  it 
first  appears  as  buffer.  2.  A  man,  fellow 
— sometimes  with  a  slightly  contempt- 
uous meaning ;  generally  speaking  a 
familiar  mode  of  address,  as  in  Old 
Buffer,  although  even  this  form  may 
be  used  disparagingly  (1749).  3.  A 
boxer,  one  of  the  fancy  (1819).  4. 
A  rogue  that  kills  good  sound  horses 
only  for  their  skins  (B.  E.).  5.  One 
who  took  a  false  oath  for  a  considera- 
tion. 6.  A  pistol  (1824).  7.  A  smuggler, 
rogue,  cheat  8.  A  boatswain's  mate, 
one  of  whose  duties  it  is — or  was — to 
administer  the  Cat.  9.  A  stammerer 

Buff  Howards.  The  Third 
Regiment  of  Foot,  now  the  East  Kent 
Regiment ;  also  The  Buffs  :  from  its 
facings  and  Colonel  from  1737  to  1749  ; 
also  the  Nut-crackers  (q.v.) ;  and  the 
Resurrectionists  (q.v.),  from  its  re- 
appearing at  the  Battle  of  Albucra 
after  being  dispersed  by  the  Polish 
Lancers  ;  also  the  Old  Buffs,  from  its 
facings,  and  to  distinguish  it  from  the 
31st,  the  Young  Buffs  ;  but  the  most 
ancient  Old  Buffs  were  the  Duke  of  York 
and  Albany's  Maritime  Regiments 
raised  in  1664,  and  incorporated  into 
the  2nd  or  Coldstream  Guards  in  1689. 

Buffle.  A  fool,  a  stupid  person: 
Murray  quotes  it  as  occurring  in  1655, 
but  the  term  was  in  use  in  1580. 

Buffle-  head.  An  ignoramus,  stupid, 
obtuse  fellow  (1659). 

Buffleheaded.  Stupid.idiotic.foolish. 

Buffo.  A  comic  actor,  singer  in 
comic  opera  (or  burlesque)  (1764). 

Buffs  (The).  The  Third  Regiment 
of  Foot  in  the  British  army :  see  Buff 

Buff  y.     Intoxicated :  see  Screwed. 

Bug.  1.  A  breast-pin.  2.  An 
Englishman  (old  Irish) :  Grose  says, 
because  bugs  were  introduced  into 
Ireland  by  Englishmen  !  !  3.  In  the 
United  States  bug  is  not  confined, 
as  in  England,  to  the  domestic  pest, 
but  is  applied  to  all  insects  of  the 
Coleoptera  order,  which  includes  what 
in  this  country  are  generally  called 
beetles.  4.  A  person  of  assumed  im- 
portance (1771) ;  big  bug  (q.v.),  a  per- 
son of  wealth  or  distinction  ;  thence 
cattle  -  bug,  a  wealthy  stock  -  raiser  ; 
gold -bug,  a  monied  man.  Fire-bug, 
an  incendiary.  That  beats  the  bugs, 
a  high  mead  of  praise,  that  beata 
cock  -  fighting.  As  verb,  ( 1 )  among 
journeymen  hatters,  to  exchange  dear 
materials  for  others  of  less  value : 
Hats  were  composed  of  the  furs  and 
wools  of  diverse  animals,  among  which 
is  a  small  portion  of  bever's  fur — 
bugging  is  stealing  the  bever,  and 
substituting  in  lieu  thereof  an  equal 
weight  of  some  cheaper  ingredient 
(Qrose).  (2)  to  bribe  :  bailiffs  accept- 
ing money  to  delay  service  were  said 
to  bug  the  writ ;  (3)  to  give,  hand  over, 
deliver  (1812). 

Bugaboo.  1.  A  sheriffs  officer 
(Grose).  2.  A  tally-man.  3.  A  weekly 

Bugaroch.  Pretty,  comely,  hand- 
some (Grose). 

Bug- blinding.    Whitewashing. 

Bugger.  1.  A  thief  (q.v.),  one 
who  steals  breast-pins  from  drunken 
men.  2.  A  man,  a  fellow :  a  coarse 
term  of  abuse  with  little  reference  to 
the  legal  meaning  :  the  French  has  an 
exact  equivalent :  equivalent  to  bitch 
(q.v.),  as  applied  to  women  (1719). 

Buggy.     A  leather  bottle. 

Bugher.     See  Buffer. 

Bug-hunter.  1.  A  thief  who 
plunders  drunken  men.  2.  An 
upholsterer  (Lexicon  Balatronicum). 

B  u  g  -  j  u  i  c  e.  1.  Ginger  ale.  2. 
The  Schlechter  whisky  of  the  Penn- 
sylvania Dutch — a  very  inferior  spirit : 
also  bug-poison. 




Bugle.  To  bugle  it.  To  abstain 
from  going  into  class  until  the  last 
moment,  i.e.  until  the  bugle  sounds. 

Bug  Walk.  A  bed.  English 
synonyms :  Bedfordshire,  Sheet  Alley, 
Blanket  Fair,  Land  of  Nod,  doss,  rip, 
Cloth  Market. 

Bug-word.  A  word  to  cause  terror, 
swaggering  (or  threatening)  language  ; 
i.e.  Bugbear- word  (1562). 

Build.  Properly,  to  build  is  to 
construct,  says  Murray,  for  a  dwell- 
ing and  by  extension  of  meaning ...  to 
construct  by  fitting  together  of  sepa- 
rate parts  ;  chiefly  with  reference  to 
structures  of  considerable  size  . . .  (not, 
e.g.,  a  watch  or  a  piano).  Therefore, 
when  build  is  applied  to  the  make  or 
style  of  dress,  it  is  pure  slang — It's  a 
tidy  build,  who  made  it  ?  A  tailor  is 
sometimes  called  a  trousers  builder. 
In  the  United  States,  as  Fennimore 
Cooper  puts  it,  everything  is  built. 
The  priest  builds  up  a  flock,  the  specu- 
lator a  fortune,  thelawyerareputation, 
the  landlord  a  town,  and  the  tailor,  as 
in  England,  builds  up  a  suit  of  clothes  ; 
a  fire  is  built  instead  of  made,  and  the 
expression  is  even  extended  to  in- 
dividuals, to  be  built  being  used  with 
the  meaning  of  formed.  I  was  not 
built  that  way ;  and  hence  in  a  still 
more  idiomatic  sense  to  express  un- 
willingness to  adopt  a  specified  course 
or  carry  out  any  inconvenient  plan. 
To  build  a  chapel,  to  steer  badly,  and 
so  cause  a  ship  to  veer  round.  Not 
built  that  way,  not  to  one's  taste,  in 
one's  line  —  a  general  expression  of 
disapproval  or  dissent,  whether  said 
of  persons  or  things. 

Bulgarian  Atrocities.  Varna  and 
Rustchuk  Ry.  3  per  cent,  obligations. 

Bulge.  The  legitimate  meaning  is 
extended  in  many  odd  ways.  Bags 
(q.v.)  bulge,  but  do  not  get  baggy; 
and  in  a  similar  fashion  when  a  man  is 
all  attention  his  eyes  are  said  to  bulge. 
To  go  (or  be)  on  a  bulge,  to  drink 
to  excess :  see  Screwed.  To  get  the 
bulge  on  one,  to  obtain  an  advan- 
tage over,  to  get  the  drop  on  one 

Bulger.     Large  buster  (q.v.). 

Bulk.  An  assistant  to  a  File 
or  Pickpocket,  who  jostles  a  person 
up  against  the  wall,  while  the  other 
picks  his  pocket  (B.  E. ). 

Bulker.  1.  A  prostitute  of  a  low 
type,  one  who  slept  on  a  bulk,  a  kind  of 

sill  projecting  from  a  window  (1691). 
2.  A  thief  (q.v.) :  see  Bulk  (1669). 

Bulky.  A  police  constable:  said 
to  be  a  northern  term  (1821).  As 
adj.  (Winchester  College) ;  rich,  gener- 
ous (or  both) :  the  opposite  of  brum 

Bull.  1.  Formerly  a  blunder  or 
mistake ;  now  generally  understood 
as  an  inconsistent  statement,  a  ludi- 
crous contradiction,  often  partaking 
largely  of  the  nature  of  a  pun :  the 
term  was  current  long  before  the  form 
Irish  bull  is  met  with  (1642).  2.  A 
crown,  five- shilling  piece :  formerly 
bull's-eye  (q.v.)  (1812).  3.  Originally 
a  speculative  purchase  for  a  rise ;  i.e. 
a  man  would  agree  to  buy  stock  at  a 
future  day  at  a  stated  price  with  no 
intention  of  taking  it  up,  but  trusting 
to  the  market  advancing  in  value  to 
make  the  transaction  profitable :  bull 
is  the  reverse  of  bear  (q.v.) :  the  term 
is  now  more  frequently  applied  to 
persons,  i.e.  to  one  who  tries  to  en- 
hance the  value  of  stocks  by  speculative 
purchases  or  otherwise  ;  also  used  as 
a  verb  and  adjective  (1671) :  on  the 
French  Bourse  a  bull  is  haussier,  in 
Berlin  he  is  known  as  liebhaler ;  and 
in  Vienna  contremine.  4.  See  Bull  the 
cask  (or  barrel).  5.  A  teapot  with 
the  leaves  left  in  for  a  second  brew. 
6.  Prison  rations  of  meat,  an  allusion 
to  its  toughness  ;  also  generally  used 
for  meat  without  any  reference  to  its 
being  either  tough  or  tender:  Fr., 
bidoche.  7.  A  locomotive  :  sometimes 
buttgine.  8.  (Winchester  College). 
Cold  beef :  introduced  at  breakfast 
about  1873.  As  verb,  at  Dartmouth 
College,  to  recite  badly,  make  a  poor 
recitation.  Stale  bull,  stock  held  over 
for  a  long  period  with  profit.  To 
bull  the  cask  (or  barrel),  to  pour 
water  into  a  rum  cask  when  empty, 
with  a  view  to  keeping  the  wood 
moist  and  preventing  leakage ;  the 
water  after  some  time  is  very  intoxi- 
cating, and  the  authorities,  not  looking 
with  much  favour  upon  wholesale 
brewing  of  grog  hi  this  way,  sometimes 
use  salt  water  as  a  deterrant,  though 
even  this  salt  water  bull,  as  it  is  called, 
when  again  poured  out,  has  often 
proved  too  attractive  for  seamen  to 
resist :  again  it  is  common  to  talk  in  the 
same  way  of  Bulling  a  teapot,  coffee- 
pot, etc.  ;  that  is,  after  the  first  brew 
has  been  exhausted,  by  adding  fresh 




water,  and  boiling  over  again,  to  make 
a  second  brew  from  the  old  materials. 
Be  may  bear  a  bull  that  hath  borne  a 
calf,  after  little,  big  things  are  possible. 
A  bull  in  a  china  shop,  a  simile  of  reck- 
less destruction.  To  take  the,  butt  by 
the  horns,  to  meet  a  difficulty  with 
resolution  and  courage.  To  show  the 
butt  horn,  to  make  a  show  of  resist- 

Bullace.     A  black  eye  ( 1659). 
Bull-and-cow.     A  row. 
Bull-back.     Pickaback   (q.v.) 

Bull -bait.  To  bully,  hector, 

Bull -beef.  Hard,  stringy  meat; 
hence,  As  ugly  as  bull-beef  ;  As  big  as 
bull-beef  ;  Go  and  sell  yourself  for  bull- 
beef  (1579).  To  bluster  like  butt-beef, 
to  tear  round  like  mad. 

Bull-calf  (or  dog).  A  great  hulkey 
or  clumsy  fellow  (Orose). 

Bull-chin.  A  fat,  chubby  child 

Bull -dance.  A  dance  in  which 
only  men  take  part:  cf.  Stag-dance, 
Gander-party,  Hen-party,  etc. 

Bull-dog.  1.  A  sheriffs  officer, 
bailiff  (1698).  2.  A  pistol;  in  the 
naval  service  a  main-deck  gun  (1700). 
3.  A  sugar-loaf.  4.  A  proctor's  assist- 
ant or  marshal  (1823).  5.  A  member 
of  Trinity  College,  Cambridge :  ob- 

Bull-dog  Blazer.  A  revolver. 
Bull-dose.  A  severe  castigation 
or  flogging.  As  verb,  to  thrash,  in- 
timidate, bully ;  a  term  of  Southern 
political  origin,  originally  referring 
to  an  association  of  negroes  formed 
to  insure,  by  violent  and  unlawful 
means,  the  success  of  an  election : 
now  in  general  use,  to  signify  the 
adoption  and  use  of  coercive  measures 

Bull-doser.  1.  A  bully,  braggart, 
swaggerer.  2.  A  pistol :  spec,  one 
carrying  a  bullet  heavy  enough  to 
destroy  human  life  with  certainty. 

Bullet.  To  give  the  bullet,  to  dis- 
charge an  employe,  give  the  bag  (or 
sack)  (1841).  Full  bullet,  full  size. 
Every  bullet  has  its  billet  (or  lighting- 
place):  see  Billet.  Bullet  in  mouth, 
ready  for  action. 

Bullet-head.  1.  A  person  with  a 
round  head  like  a  bullet  2.  An 
obstinate  fellow,  pig-headed  fool,  dull 
silly  fellow  (B.  E.). 

Bullfinch.  1.  A  stupid  fellow.  2. 
A  high  thick  hedge  ;  one  difficult  to 
jump  or  rush  through:  most  authorities 
agree  that  this  term  is  a  corruption  of 
bull-fence,  i.e.  a  fence  capable  of  pre- 
venting cattle  from  straying.  As  verb, 
to  leap  a  horse  through  such  a  hedge 

Bull-flesh.      Brag,  swagger  (1832). 

Bull -head.  1.  Hair  curled  and 
frizzled,  worn  over  the  forehead 
(1672).  2.  A  fool,  blockhead.  Bull- 
headed,  pig-headedly  impetuous,  block- 

Bull-jine.     A  locomotive. 

Bull -nurse.  A  male  attendant  on 
the  sick. 

Bullock.  1.  A  cheat.  2.  A 
countryman  or  bushman  :  cf.  Bullock- 
puncher.  As  verb,  to  bully,  bounce 
over,  intimidate  (1716). 

Bullock's  Heart.    See  Token. 

Bullock's-horn.     To  pawn. 

Bull  Party.     A  party  of  men. 

Bull  -  puncher.  A  cow-puncher, 

Bull's  Eye.  1.  A  sweetmeat  of 
which  peppermint  is  an  important  in- 
gredient (1825).  2.  A  five-shilling 
piece,  a  bull  (q.v.)  (1696). 

Bull's  -  eye  Villas.  A  nickname 
given  to  the  small  open  tents  used  by 
the  Volunteers  at  their  annual  gather- 

Bull's  Feather.  To  give  [or  yet] 
the  butt's  feather,  verbal  phr.  (old).  To 
cuckold.  Fr.,  planter  des  plumes  de 

Bull's -head.  A  signal  of  con- 
demnation, and  prelude  of  immediate 
execution,  said  to  have  been  anciently 
used  in  Scotland  (Jamieson). 

Bull's-noon.     Midnight  (1839). 

Bull -trap.  A  sham  police  con- 

Bully,  subs.  (old). — 1.  A  fancy  man 
(q.v.)  (1706).  2.  (Eton  College).  A 
melee  at  football ;  the  equivalent  of 
the  Rugby  scrimmage  and  the  Win- 
chester hot.  3.  (nautical).  A  term 
of  endearment :  orig.  of  either  sex — 
sweetheart,  darling  :  now  of  men  only 
—  pal,  mate.  4.  A  weapon  formed 
by  tying  a  stone  or  a  piece  of  lead 
in  a  handkerchief:  used  knuckle- 
duster fashion.  5.  A  bravo,  hector, 
swashbuckler ;  now  spec,  a  tyran- 
nical coward.  As  adj.,  fine,  capital, 
crack,  spiff  (1681).  That's  butty  for 
you,  Grand,  fine,  all  right,  OK. 


Bully  Beef. 

Bum  Fodder. 

Sully  boy  (or  bully  boy  with  tlie  glass 
eye),  a  good  fellow  (1815). 

Bully  Beef.  Tinned  meat:  iron 
ration  (q.v.) :  in  the  navy,  boiled  salt 

Bully-boss.  The  landlord  of  a 
brothel  or  thieves'  den. 

Bully-cock.  1.  One  who  foments 
quarrels  in  order  to  rob  the  persons 
quarrelling  (Grose).  2.  A  low  round 
hat  with  broad  brim,  billy-cock  (q.v.). 

Bully-huff.     A  boasting  bully. 

Bullyrag  (or  Ballyrag).  To  revile, 
abuse,  scold  vehemently — usually  in 
vulgar  or  obscene  language ;  also  to 
swindle  by  means  of  intimidation. 

Bullyragging.  Scolding,  abuse, 

B  u  1 1  y  -  r  o  o  k  (or  Bully  -  rock). 
Originally  boon-companion ;  later,  a 
swaggerer,  bully,  bravo  (1596). 

Bully  Ruffian.  A  footpad  or 
highwayman,  who,  to  robbery,  added 
coarse  invective. 

Bully-scribbler.  A  bullying 
journalist  (1715). 

Bully  Trap.  A  man  of  mild  out- 
side demeanour  who  is  a  match  for  any 
ruffian  who  may  attack  him  (Grose). 

Bulrush.  A  simile  of  delusive 
strength.  To  seek  a  knot  in  a  bulrush, 
to  cavil,  find  difficulties  where  there 
are  none :  also  in  sarcasm,  to  take 
away  every  knot  in  a  bulrush. 

Bum.  1.  The  posteriors  (1387). 
2.  Bum  bailiff  (q.v.).  3.  A  birching, 
hiding,  tanning.  As  verb,  to  arrest. 
Cherry  bums,  the  llth  Hussars:  the 
obvious  reference  is  to  the  scarlet 
trousers  worn  by  this  branch  of  the 
service ;  a  similar  nickname  is  given 
to  the  French  Chasseurs,  culs  rouges. 
To  say  neither  ba  nor  bum,  to  say  not 
a  word. 

Bum-bailiff  (also  Bum-baily).  A 
bailiff  or  sheriff's  officer  (1602). 

Bum  Bass.     The  violoncello. 

Bumbaste.  To  flog,  thrash,  beat 
soundly  (1571). 

Bum  -  beating.  Jostling,  pushing 
others  off  the  pavement  (1616). 

Bumbee.     A  bailiff  (1653). 

Bum-blade.  A  large  sword 

Bumble.     A  beadle. 

Bum-card.   A  marked  playing-card. 

Bumble-crew.  Corporations, 
vestries,  and  other  official  bodies. 

Bumbledom.  Petty  officialism, 
red  tape,  fussiness,  pomposity  (1856). 

Bumble-bath  (or  broth).  A  mess, 
pickle,  confusion ;  as  adj.,  clumsy, 
unwieldy  (1595). 

Bumble-foot.    A  club-foot  (1861). 

Bumble  -  puppy.  Family  whist, 
Le.  unscientific  whist.  Also  applied, 
says  Hotten,  to  a  game  played  in 
public  houses  on  a  large  stone,  placed 
in  a  slanting  direction,  on  the  lower  end 
of  which  holes  are  made,  and  numbered 
like  the  holes  in  a  bagatelle-table.  The 
player  rolls  a  stone  ball,  or  marble, 
from  the  higher  end,  and  according  to 
the  number  of  the  hole  it  falls  into  the 
game  is  counted.  It  is  undoubtedly 
the  very  ancient  game  of  Trmde-in- 

Bumbler.  1.  An  idle  fellow.  2. 
A  blunderer.  3.  A  Tyneside  artillery- 

Bumbles.  Coverings  for  the  eyes 
of  horses  that  shy  in  harness. 

Bumbo.  A  liquor  composed  of 
rum,  sugar,  water,  and  nutmeg  (Smol- 
lett) ;  brandy,  water,  and  sugar 

Bum-brusher,  subs,  (schoolboys'). 
A  flogging  schoolmaster,  an  usher. 
English  synonyms,  flaybottom,  haber- 
dasher of  pronouns  (1704). 

Bum  Charter.  The  name  given 
to  bread  steeped  in  hot  water  by  the 
first  unfortunate  inhabitants  of  the 
English  Bastile,  where  this  miserable 
fare  was  their  daily  breakfast,  each 
man  receiving  with  his  scanty  portion 
of  bread  a  quart  of  boiled  water  from 
the  cook's  coppers  (Vaux). 

Bum-court.  The  Ecclesiastical 
Court  (1544). 

Bumclink.  In  the  Midland 
counties  inferior  beer  brewed  for  hay- 
makers and  harvest  labourers. 

Bum-creeper.  One  who  walks 
bent  almost  double. 

Bum  Curtain.  An  academical 
gown,  worn  scant  and  short ;  especially 
applied  to  the  short  black  gown  worn 
till  1835  by  members  of  Caius  College. 

Bumf.     Toilet  paper. 

Bumfeague  (Bumfeagle,  Bumfeg). 
To  flog,  thrash  (1589). 

Bumfhunt  (Wellington  College). 
A  paper-chase. 

Bum  Fiddle.     The  posteriors. 

Bum  Fidget.     A  restless  individual. 

Bum  Fodder.  1.  Low-class  worth- 
less literature  :  once  in  literary  use 
(1653).  2.  Toilet  paper,  curl  paper 
(q.v.)  (Grose). 




Bummaree.  A  Billingsgate  middle- 
man :  these  men,  who  are  not  recog- 
nised as  regular  salesmen  by  the 
trade,  are  speculative  buyers  of  fish 

Bummed.     Arrested. 

Bummer.  1.  A  bum-bailiff  (q.v.) 
2.  A  heavy  loss,  severe  pecuniary 
reverse.  3.  An  idler,  loafer,  sponger, 
looter  :  the  term  came  into  general  use 
at  the  time  of  the  Civil  War,  when 
it  was  specially  applied  to  a  straggler, 
hanger-on,  or  free-lance,  particularly 
in  connection  with  General  Sherman's 
famous  march  from  Atlanta  to  the  sea ; 
also  a  general  term  of  reproach,  as 
with  rascal,  black-leg,  etc. 

Bumming  (Wellington  College). 
A  thrashing,  licking. 

Bump.  When  one  boat  touches 
another  in  a  race  it  is  said  to  make 
a  bump,  and  technically  beata  its 
opponent :  see  Bumping  race.  As 
verb,  to  overtake  and  touch  an  op- 
posing boat,  thus  winning  the  heat  or 
race  (1849). 

Bumper.  1.  Anything  of  super- 
lative size — a  big  lie,  horse,  house, 
or  woman.  2.  A  full  or  crowded  house 
(1838).  3.  (cards).  When,  in  long 
whist,  one  side  has  scored  eight  before 
the  other  has  scored  a  point,  a  bumper 
is  the  result. 

Bum  -  perisher  (or  Bum-shaver). 
A  short- tailed  coat,  a  jacket. 

Bumping  Race.  Eight-oared 
inter-Collegiate  races,  rowed  in  two 
divisions  of  fifteen  and  sixteen  boats 
respectively,  including  a  sandwich 
boat  (q.v.),  i.e.  the  top  boat  of  the 
second  division,  which  rows  bottom  of 
the  first :  the  boats  in  each  division 
start  at  a  distance  apart  of  175  feet 
from  stern  to  stern  in  the  order  at 
which  they  left  off  at  the  last  preceding 
race,  and  any  boat  which  overtakes, 
and  bumps  another  (i.e.  touches  it  in 
any  part)  before  the  winning  post  is 
reached,  changes  place  with  it  for 
the  next  race. 

Bumpkin.     The  posteriors  (1658). 

Bumpology.  Phrenology.  Bump- 
otopher,  a  phrenologist. 

Bump-supper.  A  supper  to  com- 
memorate the  fact  of  the  boat  of  the 
college  having,  in  the  annual  races, 
bumped  or  touched  the  boat  of  another 
college  immediately  in  front. 

Bumpsy.     Drunk:  see  Screwed. 

Bumptious.      Arrogant,    self- 

sufficient,  on  good  terms  with  oneself 

Bumptiousness.  Self-assertiveness, 
arrogance,  self-conceit. 

Bum-roll.  A  pad  or  cushion  worn 
by  women  to  extend  the  dress  at  the 
back — the  equivalent  of  the  modern 
bustle  or  dress-improver  (1601). 

Bumsquabbled.  Discomfited, 
defeated,  stupefied  (1620). 

Bum-sucker.  A  sponger,  toady, 
lick-spittle,  hanger-on  :  Fr.,  lechc-cul. 

Bum-trap.     A  bailiff  (1750). 

Bun.  1.  A  sponger,  one  who 
cannot  be  shaken  off.  2.  A  knob  of 
hair  worn  at  the  back  of  the  head.  3. 
A  term  of  endearment  (1587).  To 
take  (or  yank)  the  bun,  to  take  first 
place,  obtain  first  honours  :  a  variant 
of  take  the  cake. 

Bunce  (Bunse  or  Bunt).  Originally 
money :  see  Rhino.  2.  Profit,  gain, 
anything  to  the  good. 

B  u  n  c  e  r.  One  who  sells  on 

Bunch-of-fives.  The  hand  or  fist 

Bunco  (or  Bunco-game).  A 
swindling  game  played  either  with 
cards  or  dice,  not  unlike  three  card 
monte.  As  verb,  to  rob,  cheat,  or 
swindle  by  means  of  the  bunco  game  ; 
or  by  what  in  England  is  known  as  the 
confidence  trick,  etc. 

Bunco-steerer  (Bunko-steerer).  A 
swindler,  confidence-trick  man  : — The 
bunco-steerer  ....  will  find  you  out 
the  morning  after  you  land  in  Chicago 
or  St.  Louis.  He  will  accost  you — 
very  friendly,  wonderfully  friendly — 
when  you  come  out  of  your  hotel,  by 
your  name,  and  he  will  remind  you — 
which  is  most  surprising,  considerin' 
you  never  set  eyes  on  his  face  before — 
now  you  have  dined  together  in  Cin- 
cinnati, or  it  may  be  Orleans,  or  per- 
haps Francisco,  because  he  finds  out 
where  you  came  from  last ;  and  he  will 
shake  hands  with  you ;  and  he  will 
propose  a  drink ;  and  he  will  pay  for 
that  drink  ;  and  presently  he  will  take 
you  somewhere  else,  among  his  pals, 
and  he  will  strip  you  so  clean, that  there 
won't  be  felt  the  price  of  a  four-cent 
paper  to  throw  around  your  face  and 
hide  your  blushes.  In  London  .  .  . 
they  do  the  confidence  trick  (Besant 
and  Rice). 

Bundling  (or  Bundling  up).  Men 
and  women  sleeping  on  the  same  bed 



Burn -crust. 

together  without  having  removed  their 

Bung  (Bong,  Boung).  1.  A  purse 
(1567).  2.  A  pickpocket:  also  Bung- 
nipper  (1598).  3.  A  brewer,  landlord 
of  a  public  house.  Hence  as  adj., 
tipsy,  fuddled ;  see  Screwed.  As  verb, 
(1)  generally  bung  up,  i.e.  to  close  or 
shut  up  the  eyes  by  means  of  a  blow 
that  causes  a  swelling  (1593);  (2)  to 
give,  pass,  hand  over,  drink,  to  per- 
form almost  any  action :  Bung  over 
the  rag,  hand  over  the  money  ;  (3) 
to  deceive  one  by  a  lie,  to  cram 

Bungay.  Oo  to  Bungay  I  Go  to 
the  deuce  ! 

Bung-eyed.  1.  Drunk,  fuddled: 
see  Screwed  (1858).  2.  Cross-eyed, 
unable  to  see  straight,  boss-eyed, 
squinny-eyed  (q.v.). 

Bung-hole.     The  anus  (1611). 

Bungfunger.  To  startle,  confuse : 
cf.  Bumbsquabbled :  also  used  as  adj., 
confounded  (1835). 

Bung- juice.     Beer. 

Bung-knife  (or  Boung-knife).  A 
cut-purse's  knife  (1592). 

Bung-nipper  (or  Boung-nipper). 
A  cut- purse,  sharper. 

Bung  Upwards.  Said  of  a  person 
lying  on  his  face. 

Bunk.  Hasty  departure.  As  verb, 
( 1 )  to  be  off,  decamp ;  (2)  (Wellington 
College),  to  expeL 

Bunker.     Beer  :  see  Drinks. 

Bunkum  (Buncombe,  Buncome). 
Talking  for  talking' s  sake,  claptrap, 
gas,  tall  talk  :  the  employment  of  the 
word  in  its  original  sense  of  insincere 
political  speaking  or  claptrap  is  ascribed 
to  a  member  of  Congress,  Felix  Walker, 
from  Buncombe  County,  North  Caro- 
lina, who  explained  that  he  was  merely 
talking  for  Buncombe,  when  his  fellow 
members  could  not  understand  why 
he  was  making  a  speech.  That's  oil 
buncombe,  That's  all  nonsense,  or,  an 
absurdity.  Also  used  attributively  ; 
for  example,  a  bunkum  proclamation, 
bunkum  logic,  bunkum  politicians, 
etc.  (1841). 

Bunky  (Christ's  Hospital).  Awk- 
ward, ill-finished. 

Bunnick.  To  settle,  dispose  of 

Bunny.  An  endearment :  of 
women  and  children  (1606). 

Bunny -grub  (Cheltenham  Col- 
lege). Green  vegetables,  such  as 

cabbage,  lettuce,  and  the  like  :  at  the 
Royal  Military  Academy  and  other 
schools,  grass  (q.v.). 

Bunse.     See  Bunce. 

Bun  -  struggle  (or  Bun  -  worry). 
A  tea :  see  Tea-fight. 

Bunt.     See  Bunce. 

B  u  n  t  e  r.  A  low  vulgar  woman, 
one  who  picks  up  rags  and  refuse  in 
the  street.  2.  A  woman  who  takes 
lodgings,  and  after  staying  some  time, 
runs  away  without  paying  the 

Bunting.  An  endearment  to  a 
child :  as  in  Baby  bunting. 

Burden's  Hotel.  Whitecross  Street 
Prison,  of  which  the  Governor  was  a 
Mr.  Burden :  see  Cage. 

Burick  (or  Burerk).  A  woman; 
spec,  one  showily  dressed ;  for- 
merly a  thief's  term  for  a  prostitute 

Burke.  1.  To  murder  by  strangul- 
ation :  as  Burke  did  for  the  purpose  of 
selling  the  bodies  for  dissection.  2. 
To  hush  up,  smother  a  matter.  3.  To 
dye  the  moustache  and  whiskers. 

Burn.  To  cheat,  swindle.  To 
be  burned,  to  be  infected  with  venereal 
disease.  To  burn  the  parade,  to  warn 
more  men  for  a  guard  than  necessary, 
and  excusing  the  supernumeraries  for 
money :  this  practice  was  formerly 
winked  at  in  most  garrisons,  and  was 
a  considerable  perquisite  to  the  adju- 
tants and  sergeant-majors  ;  the  pre- 
tence for  it  was  to  purchase  coal  and 
candle  for  the  guard,  whence  it  was 
called  burning  the  parade.  Burn  my 
breeches !  A  mild  kind  of  oath.  To 
burn  the  ken,  to  live  at  an  inn  or  tavern 
without  paying  for  one's  quarters. 
His  money  burns  in  his  pocket,  he  is 
eager  to  spend  (1740).  To  burn  one's 
boats  behind  one,  to  cut  off  all  chance 
of  retreat.  To  burn  the  Thames,  to 
perform  some  prodigy.  To  burn  day- 
light, to  burn  candles  in  the  daytime. 
To  burn  fine  weather,  to  fail  to  turn  it 
to  advantage.  To  burn  the  candle  at 
both  ends :  see  Candle.  To  burn  the 
planks,  to  remain  long  sitting.  To 
burn  one's  fingers,  to  suffer  through 
meddling.  To  b  urn  a  stone,  to  displace 
by  accident. 

Burnand.  To  pilfer  plots  of  plays, 
novels,  etc. ) :  from  the  name  of  Mr.  F. 
Burnand,  the  editor  of  Punch. 

Burn-crust.  A  baker :  cf.  Master  of 
the  mint,  a  gardener ;  Bung,  a  brewer ; 




Ball  of  wax,  a  shoemaker;  Quill-driver, 
a  clerk  ;  Snip,  a  tailor,  etc. 

Burner.     A  card-sharper. 

Burr.  A  hanger  on,  dependant, 
sponger.  As  verb  (Marl borough  Col- 
lego),  to  fight,  scrimmage,  rag. 

Burst.  1.  A  spree,  drunken  frolic, 
big  feed,  blow  out  (q.v.) :  usually,  On 
the  burst.  2.  A  sudden  and  vigorous 
access  (or  display)  of  energy,  a  lively 
pace  or  spurt. 

Bursted.     Hard  up. 

Burster.  1.  A  heavy  fall,  cropper. 
2.  See  Buster. 

Bury.  Go  bury  yourself !  A 
Califoruianism  which  has  more  of  the 
fortitcr  than  the  auaviter  in  its  com- 
position :  equivalent  to,  Go !  hide  your 
diminished  head :  cf.  Carry  me  out 
and  bury  me  decently.  To  bury  (or  dig 
up)  the  hatchet :  amongst  Indian  tribes 
certain  symbolic  ceremonies  are  con- 
nected with  the  war- hatchet  or  toma- 
hawk, which  are  equivalent  to  a 
declaration  of  war,  or  a  compact  of 
peace  :  To  bury  the  hatchet  is  the  em- 
blem of  the  putting  away  of  strife  and 
enmity;  on  the  other  hand,  the  redskin, 
before  he  commences  hostilities,  digs  up 
afresh  the  fateful  symbol.  To  bury  a 
moll,  to  desert  a  wife  or  mistress.  To 
buryaQuaker,to  evacuate, ease  oneself. 
To  bury  a  vrife,  to  feast  and  make 
merry :  used  in  connection  with  the 
jollifications  frequently  indulged  in 
by  apprentices  on  the  completion  of 
their  term  of  indenture,  when  they 
became  full-blown  craftsmen. 

Bus  (or  Buss).  1.  Business 
(q.v.) :  pronounced  biz.  2.  Omnibus 
( 1 832).  As  verb,  to  punch  one's  head. 

Bush.  1.  To  camp  out  in  the  bush, 
get  lost  in  the  bush.  Hence,  2.  to 
be  in  a  mental  or  a  physical  difficulty, 
to  be  muddled.  To  beat  about  the 
bush,  to  prevaricate,  avoid  coming  to 
the  point,  go  indirectly  to  one's  object. 

Bushed.  Hard  up,  without 
money,  destitute  (1812). 

Bushed  On.     Pleased,  delighted. 

Bushwhacker.  A  free-lance:  during 
the  American  Civil  War  deserters  from 
the  ranks  of  both  armies  infested  the 
country,  making  raids  upon  defence- 
less houses  and  sacking  whole  towns. 

Bushy -park.  A  lark.  To  be  in 
bushy  park,  to  be  poor. 

Business.  Dramatic  action, 
bye-play  (1753).  To  do  one's  business 
for  one,  to  kill,  cause  one's  death. 

Business  End  [of  a  thing].  The 
practical  part. 

Busk.  To  busk  it,  to  sell  songs, 
books,  and  other  articles  at  bars  and 
tap-rooms  of  public  houses :  also  to 
work  public  houses  and  certain  spota 
as  an  itinerant  musician. 

Busker.     See  Busk. 

Busnapper.     See  Buz-napper. 

Buss  Beggar.  An  old  prostitute  of 
the  lowest  type,  a  beggar's  trull. 

Bust  1.  A  corrupted  form  of 
burst :  also  busting,  busted.  2.  A 
burglary.  3.  A  frolic,  spree,  drunken 
debauch :  cf.  to  go  on  the  bust.  4. 
A  failure,  fizzle.  As  verb,  ( 1 )  to  burst, 
explode,  (2)  to  commit  a  burglary  ;  (3) 
to  inform  against  an  accomplice ;  (4) 
to  fail  in  business  or  transactions  of 
any  kind  ;  (5)  to  put  out  of  breath, 
wind ;  (6)  to  indulge  in  a  drunken 
frolic,  go  on  the  spree  ;  (7)  to  destroy, 
commit  suicide,  set  aside,  expose. 
Bust  me  \  A  mild  oath — Blow  me  ! 
Jigger  me ! 

Buster.  1.  A  new  loaf;  also  a 
coarse  cake  or  bun  of  large  size  that 
fills  or  blows  out  the  stomach  ( 1821).  2. 
A  burglar  :  see  Thief.  3.  Anything  of 
superior  size,  that  has  unusual  capa- 
city, that  causes  admiration,  a  spurt. 
To  come  a  buster,  to  fall  heavily,  to  come 
a  cropper.  In  for  a  buster,  prepared, 
ready  (or  determined)  for  a  spree 
(1852).  4.  A  heavy  storm  from  the 
south,  brick-fielder  (q.v.). 

Busting.  Informing  against  ac- 
complices, turning  King's  evidence. 

Bustle.  1.  A  pad,  roll,  or  wire 
contrivance  worn  by  women  at  the 
back  in  order  to  extend  the  dress,  and 
also  with  a  view  to  setting  off  the 
smallness  of  the  waist  (1788).  2. 
Money  :  see  Rhino.  As  verb,  to  con- 
fuse, confound,  perplex. 

Busy-head.     A  busybody. 

Busy-idler.  A  person  busy  about 

Busy-sack.  A  carpet-bag:  in 
America  a  grip-sack. 

Butch,  To  follow  the  trade  of  s 

Butcher.  1.  The  king  in  playing- 
cards  :  when  card-playing  in  public 
houses  was  common,  the  kings  were 
called  butchers,  the  queens  bitches, 
and  the  knaves  jacks:  Fr.,  boruf.  2. 
A  peripatetic  vendor  of  varieties  and 
'  notions  '  on  railway  cars — at  once 
a  convenience  and  a  terror.  3.  A 


Butcher' s-bUl. 


prison  doctor.  4.  A  malevolent  critic. 
As  verb,  to  murder  a  reputation,  to 
mangle  an  author's  lines.  To  biitcher 
about  (Wellington  College),  to  make  a 
great  noise,  humbug. 

Butcher's-bill.  The  list  of  those 
killed  in  battle. 

Butcher's  Mourning.  A  white  hat 
with  a  black  mourning  hat-band. 

Butteker.     A  shop. 

Butter.  Fulsome  flattery, 
unctuous  praise,  soft  soap:  Fr., 
cirage  (1819).  As  verb,  (1)  to 
flatter  fulsomely,  indulge  in  rhodo- 
mantic  praise:  Fr.,  cirer  (1700);  (2) 
to  increase  the  stakes  every  throw  or 
every  game  (1696).  To  look  as  if 
butter  would  not  melt  in  one's  mouth,  a 
contemptuous  saying  of  persons  of 
simple  demeanour  (1475).  Will  cut 
butter  when  it's  hot,  said  of  a  knife 
when  blunt.  Butter  and  eggs,  going 
down  a  slide  on  one  foot  and  beating 
with  the  heel  and  toe  of  the  other  at 
short  intervals. 

Butter-bag  (or  Butter-box).  A 
Dutchman  (1600). 

Butter-boat.  To  empty  the 
butter-boat,  to  lavish  praise,  to  butter 

Buttercup.  A  pet  name  for  a 

Buttered.  1.  Whipped.  2.  Flat- 

Butter-fingered.  Apt  to  let  things 
fall,  greasy  (or  slippery)  fingered. 
Butter-fingers,  one  who  lets  things  slip 
easily  from  a  hold  (1615). 

Butter-flap.  A  light  cart,  i.e.  a 

Butterfly.  1.  A  river  barge.  2. 
The  guard  for  the  reins  affixed  to  the 
top  of  a  hansom  cab. 

Butternuts.  The  sympathisers 
with  the  South  in  the  North  and  the 
Middle  States  during  the  American 
Civil  War  ;  the  term  was  derived  from 
the  colour  of  the  uniforms  worn  in  the 
early  part  of  the  war  by  Confederate 
soldiers  in  the  West,  which,  being 
homespun,  were  dyed  brown  with  the 
juice  of  the  butternut. 

Butter-print.  A  child ;  usually 
when  illegitimate  (1620). 

Buttock.  A  common  prostitute 

Buttock  -  and  -  file.  A  prostitute 
and  her  companion  ;  sometimes  bulk 
and  file ;  occasionally  buttock  and 
file  is  used  of  a  single  individual — one 

who  unites  the  roles  of  a  thief  and 
prostitute  (1671). 

Buttock  -  and  -  tongue.  A  scold- 
ing woman,  shrew. 

Buttock-and-twang.  A  common 
prostitute,  but  who  is  no  thief. 

Button.  1.  A  shilling  :  formerly 
good  currency,  now  only  of  counter- 
feit coin :  see  Rhino.  2.  A  decoy  of 
any  kind,  whether  the  confederate  of 
confidence- trick  men,  or  a  sham  buyer 
at  an  auction.  As  verb,  to  decoy, 
act  as  confederate  in  swindles :  Fr., 
aguicher.  Not  to  care  a  button  (or  brass 
button),  to  care  nothing.  To  have  a 
button  on,  to  have  a  fit  of  the  blues 
(q.v.),  despondent.  To  button  up, 
when  a  broker  has  bought  stock  on 
speculation  and  it  falls  suddenly  on  his 
hands,  whereby  he  is  a  loser,  he  keeps 
the  matter  to  himself,  and  is  reluctant 
to  confess  the  ownership  of  a  share : 
this  is  called  buttoning  up. 

Button-burster  (or  Button-buster). 
A  low  comedian. 

Button-catcher.  A  tailor. 
English  synonyms:  snip,  cabbage 
contractor,  steel  -  bar,  driver,  goose 
persuader,  sufferer,  ninth  part  of  a 
man,  etc. 

Buttoner.  A  card  -  sharper's 
decoy  (1841). 

Button-pound.  Money :  generic : 
see  Rhino. 

Buttons.  A  page ;  sometimes 
boy  in  buttons  ( 1860).  Dash  my  buttons 
(wig,  etc.)  a  mild  oath;  also  employed 
to  express  vexation  or  surprise.  Not  to 
have  all  one's  buttons,  to  be  deficient 
in  intellect,  slightly  cracky,  to  have  a 
bee  in  one's  bonnet.  To  have  a  soul 
above  buttons,  to  be  above  one's  work 
or  duty,  to  think  one's  ability  superior 
to  one's  position.  To  make  buttons, 
to  look  sorry,  sad,  to  be  in  great  fear 

Butty.     A  comrade,  partner. 

Buvare.     Drink :  generic. 

Buy.  To  buy  a  prop,  a  term 
used  to  signify  that  the  market  has 
gone  flat,  and  that  there  is  no  one  to 
support  it. 

Buz  (or  Buzz).  A  parlour  game 
which  is  thus  described  by  Hotten, 
who,  however,  erroneously  limited  it 
to  public-houses  : — The  leader  com- 
mences saying  one,  the  next  on  the 
left  hand  two,  the  next  three,  and 
so  on  to  seven,  when  buz  must  be  said ; 
every  seven  and  multiple  of  7,  as  14, 



Cabbage  Plant. 

17,  21,  27,  28  etc.,  must  not  be 
mentioned  bat  buz  instead  ;  whoever 
break  the  rule  pays  a  fine.  As  verb,  ( 1 ) 
some  uncertainty  exists  as  to  whether 
to  buz  signifies  to  drain  a  bottle  or 
decanter  to  the  last  drop,  or  whether 
it  means  to  share  equally  the  last  of 
a  bottle  of  wine,  when  there  is  not 
enough  for  a  full  glass  to  each  of  the 
party ;  (2)  to  pick  pockets ;  (3)  to 
search  for,  look  about  one. 

Buz-bloke,  Buz-cove,  Buz-gloak. 
See  Buz-napper. 

Buz -man.  1.  A  pickpocket.  2. 
An  informer. 

Buz-napper.  A  pickpocket: 
see  Thief  (1781). 

Buz-napper's  Academy. 
A  training  school  for  thieves :  figures 
were  dressed  up,  and  experienced 
tutors  stood  in  various  difficult  atti- 
tudes for  the  boys  to  practise  upon ; 
when  clever  enough  they  were  sent  on 
the  streets :  Dickens  gives  full  par- 
ticulars of  this  old  style  of  business 
in  Oliver  Twist. 

Buz-napper's  Kinchin.  A  watch- 

Buzzing  (or  Buz-faking).  Pocket- 

By-blow.  An  illegitimate  child  : 
also  By-chop  and  By-slip  (1594). 

By  Cracky!  An  ejaculation  con- 
veying no  idea  beyond  that  of  general 

Bye  -  drink.     Liquid    refreshment 

taken  at  other  than  meal  -  time* 

By  George!  An  ejaculation  sig- 
nifying either  surprise,  or  anger,  or 
used  without  any  special  meaning 

By  Goldami  A  semi  -  veiled 

By  Golly!  Euphemistic  for  By 
God  (1743). 

By  Gorram !     See  By  Goldam  ! 

By  Gosh  1     A  euphemistic  oath. 

By  Gum !  By  Gummy !  intj.  phr. 
Expletives  from  the  great  American 
Dictionary  of  Oaths  and  CUM  Words, 
compiled  by  descendants  of  the  Puri- 
tan Fathers. 

By  hook  or  by  crook.     See  Hook. 

By  Hooky.     A  veiled  oath. 

B  y  n  g,  B  i  n  g.  To  go.  Bynge- 
awaste,  to  go  away  (1567). 

By-scape  (or  slip).  A  bastard 

By  the  Ever  -  living  Jumping 
Moses!  An  effective  ejaculation 
and  moral  waste  -  pipe  for  interior 
passion  or  wrath  is  seen  in  the  ex- 
clamation, By  the  ever-living  jump- 
ing Moses  !  —  a  harmless  phrase, 
that  for  its  length  expends  a  con- 
siderable quantity  of  fiery  anger. — 

By  the  Living  Jingo  !  (or  By 
Jingo !)  See  Jingo. 

By  the  Wind.  Hard  up,  in  diffi- 

Cab.  1.  An  adventitious  aid  to 
study,  a  crib,  a  pony  (q.v.).  As  verb, 
to  use  a  crib;  cf.  cabbage  (1853). 
2.  A  brothel  (1811).  3.  A  cavalier 
(17th  century) ;  cf.  Sp.,  caballero.  4. 
A  cabriolet :  also  any  vehicle  to  seat 
two  or  four  persons  plying  for  hire. 
Whence,  5.  A  cabman  (also  Cabby): 
e.g.  Call  a  cab  !  As  verb,  to  travel  by 
cat) :  cf.  foot  it,  hoof  it,  tram  it,  train 
it,  'bus  it.  Hence  cobber,  a  cab-horse  : 
cf.  Vanner,  Wheeler,  etc. 

Cabbage.  1.  Pieces  purloined  by 
tailors  ;  hence  any  small  profits  in  the 
shape  of  material.  [Johnson :  a  cant- 
ing term.]  As  verb,  to  purloin 
material,  to  take  toll  (q.v.).  Also,  cold- 
slaw  (American) :  cf.  Pigeon-skewings. 
Cabbage  is  stored  in  hell  (q.v.)  or  one's 

eye  (q.v.)  (1638).  2.  A  tailor,  also 
cabbager  and  cabbage  -  contractor 
(q.v.)  (1690).  3.  A  style  of  dressing 
the  hair :  similar  to  the  modern 
chignon:  Fr.,  kilo  (1690)  4.  A 
translation,  crib  (q.v.) ;  also  cab  (q.v.) 
5.  A  cigar:  Fr.,  feuille  de  platane, 
crapulos  (or  crapvlados) :  see  Weed. 

Cabbage  -  contractor.  See  Cab- 

Cabbage  -  gelder.  A  greengrocer 
or  market  gardener. 

Cabbage-head.  A  fool,  soft-head, 
go-along  (q.v.) :  see  Buffle  (1682). 

Cabbage-leaf.  A  bad  cigar ;  also 
cabbage.  (A  popular  theory  of 
material.]  Fr.,  infectados.  See  Weed. 

Cabbage  Plant  An  umbrella, 
gamp  (q.v.),  brolly  (q.v.). 



Cabbager.     A  tailor. 

Cabbage-stumps.  In  pi.,  the 
legs :  see  Drumsticks. 

Cabbage  -  tree  Mob.  A  larrikin 
(q.v.).  [A  low-crowned  cabbage-palm 
hat  is  affected  by  this  section  of  Aus- 
tralian society.]  Also  Cabbagites. 

Cabby.  A  cabman :  Fr.,  hirondette 
and  maraudeur  (1852). 

Cable.  To  send  a  telegram  by 
ocean  (submarine)  wire  :  cf.  Wire.  To 
slip  or  cut  one's  cable,  to  die  ;  see  Hop 
the  twig. 

Cable-hanger.  An  oyster  dredger 
not  free  of  the  fishery. 

Cab-moll.     A  prostitute. 

Cabobbled.  Confused,  puzzled, 

Caboodle.  A  crowd  ;  usually,  the 
whole  caboodle.  [Boodle  (q.v.)  was 
frequently  used  in  the  same  sense, 
which  is  indifferently  applied]  (1858). 

Caboose.  Convivial  quarters,  a 
bachelor's  snuggery,  a  den  (q.v.),  dig- 
gings (q.v.).  The  whole  caboose,  a 
variation  of  caboodle  (q.v.). 

Cacafuego.  A  spitfire,  braggart, 
bully  (1625). 

Cachunk!  An  exclamation  in- 
tended to  convey  an  imitation  of  the 
Bound  of  a  falling  body  :  onomatopoeic 
— the  bow-wow  word  of  Max  Miiller. 
Variants  are,  Caswash,  Cawhalux, 
Chewallop,  Casouse,  Cathump,  Ker- 
plunk, Katouse,  Katoose,  Kelumpus, 
Kerchunk,  Kerswosh,  Kerslosh, 
Kerswollop,  Kerblinkityblunk,  and 

Cackle.  1.  The  dialogue  of  a  play, 
spec,  a  clown's  patter  :  whence  cackle- 
chucker,  a  prompter  ;  cackle-merchant, 
a  dramatist ;  cockier  (or  cackling-cove), 
an  actor,  preacher,  or  lecturer  ;  cackle- 
tub,  a  pulpit.  2.  Idle  talk,  inconse- 
quent chatter,  a  short  spasmodic 
laugh ;  and  as  verb,  to  talk  idly,  fussily, 
or  loudly  of  petty  things,  as  a  hen  after 
laying  an  egg  :  see  Cackler  (1676). 

Cackler.  1.  A  fowl :  also  cackling 
cheat  (1672).  English  synonyms: 
beaker,  cackler,  margery  prater,  gal- 
eny,  partlet,  chickabiddy,  rooster, 
chuck-chuck,  chuckie.  French  syn- 
onyms :  becquant,  ornichon,  pigue-en- 
terre  (peck-the-ground),  estable  (or 
estaphle),  bruantez  (Breton).  Whence 
cackling-fruit,  an  egg,  and  cackler's- 
ken,  a  fowl-house.  2.  A  noisy  talker, 
blab  (q.v.)  (1400). 

Cackling  -  cove.     An  actor.     Eng- 

lish synonyms  :  mummery- cove,  mug- 
faker,  mummer,  mugger  (properly  an 
actor  who  makes  free  play  with  his 
face),  tragedy  or  comedy  merchant, 
pro,  stroller,  cackle  -  faker,  barn- 
stormer, surf. 

Cad.  A  term  of  contempt :  spec, 
an  offensive  or  ill-bred  person,  irrespec- 
tive of  social  position,  but  formerly 
of  underlings  and  others  performing 
menial  offices.  [0.  E.  D. :  apparently 
from  cadet  and  the  popular  forms 
cadee  and  caddie;  cadator  suggests  a 
collateral,  if  an  independent  origin.] 
The  vocable  has  passed  through  a 
variety  of  meanings.  1.  A  passenger 
taken  up  by  coach  drivers  for  their  own 
profit.  2.  A  chum  or  companion.  3. 
An  assistant.  4.  An  omnibus  con- 
ductor. 5.  A  messenger  or  errand  boy. 
6.  A  non-school  or  non-university  man. 
At  Cambridge,  snob  (q.v.),  the  word 
Thackeray  used,  has  long  been  a 
common  term  for  a  townsman  ;  now 
the  undergrad  says  Townee  or  Towner 
(q.v.)  (1831).  7.  A  vulgar,  ill-man- 
nered person,  a  blackguard,  i.e.  a 
person  incapable  of  moral  decency 
( 1 849).  Hence  caddish,  vulgar,  offens- 
ively bred. 

Cadator.  A  beggar  apeing  a 
decayed  gentleman  (1703). 

Caddie.     An  attendant  at  golf. 

Cade.  The  Burlington  Arcade :  cf. 
Zoo,  Proms,  Pops,  Cri. 

Cadge.  The  profession  of  cadging 
or  begging.  As  verb,  to  obtain  by 
begging,  to  beg  in  an  artful  wheedling 
manner.  Here  cadging  (or  on  the 
cadge),  on  the  make  (q.v.) ;  among 
intimates  to  cadge  a  dinner  or  supper 
is  often  used  without  implied  re- 
proach: see  Cadger  (1811).  English 
synonyms:  to  mump,  pike,  mouch, 
stand  the  pad,  maund,  tramp,  mike. 

Cadge-cloak  (or  Gloak).  A 
beggar  (1791). 

Cadger.  1.  Primarily  a  carrier, 
pedlar,  or  itinerant  dealer.  2.  A  whin- 
ing beggar,  sponger  (q.v.),  snide  (q.v.). 
Eng.  synonyms :  Abram  man,  croaker, 
Abraham  cove,  Tom  of  Bedlam,  Bed- 
lam beggar,  maunderer,  moucher, 
pikey,  traveller,  turnpike  or  dry- land 
sailor,  scoldrum,  shyster,  shivering 
James,  silver  beggar,  skipper-bird, 
mumper,  paper-worker,  goose-shearer, 
master  of  the  black  art,  durrynacker. 

C  a  d  y.  A  hat,  also  cadey  and 
caddy :  see  Golgotha. 




Caffan.     See  Caasan. 

Caffre's  Tightener.  A  full 

Cage.  1.  A  petty  prison,  a  country 
lock-up  (1500).  English  synonyms 
(generic) :  academy,  boat,  boarding- 
house,  bower,  block  -  house,  bastille, 
bladhunk,  stone-jug,  jug,  calaboose, 
cooler,  coop,  downs,  clink,  jigger,  Irish 
theatre,  quod,  shop,  stir,  clinch,  steel, 
sturrabin,  mill,  toll-shop,  floating  hell, 
floating  academy,  dry  room,  House  that 
Jack  Built,  choakee.  Special  names 
for  particular  prisons  :  Bates' s  Farm  or 
Garden  (Cold  Bath  Fields),  Akerman's 
Hotel  (Newgate),  Castieu's  Hotel  (Mel- 
bourne Gaol,  Burdon's  Hotel  (White 
Cross  Street  Prison),  Ellenborough 
Lodge,  Spike  or  Park  (the  King's 
Bench  Prison,  to  which,  as  a  matter  of 
fact,  every  Chief-Justice  stood  god- 
father), Campbell's  Academy  (the 
Hulks),  City  College  and  Whittington's 
College  (Newgate),  Tench,  Pen,  and 
Smith's  Hotel  (Edinburgh).  2.  A 
dress-improver,  bustle  :  see  Bird-cage 
3.  A  bed  ;  also  Breeding-cage.  4.  The 
Ladies'  Gallery  in  the  House  of 
Commons,  also  called  the  Chamber  of 
Horrors,  which,  however,  is  properly 
the  Peeresses'  Gallery  in  the  Upper 

Cagg.  A  term  used  by  private 
soldiers,  a  solemn  vow  or  resolution 
not  to  get  drunk  for  a  certain  time  ;  or, 
as  the  term  is,  till  their  cagg  is  out, 
which  vow  is  commonly  observed  with 
the  strictest  exactness  :  e.g.  '  I  have 
cagg'd  myself  for  six  months.  Excuse 
me  this  time,  and  I  will  cagg  myself 
for  a  year.'  Common  in  Scotland, 
where  the  vow  is  performed  with  divers 
ceremonies  (Groee). 

Cag  -  mag.  1.  A  tough  old  goose  ; 
hence,  2.  refuse,  rubbish,  scraps  and 
ends  (1769). 

Cain.  To  raise  Cain,  to  be  quarrel- 
some, make  a  disturbance :  also  to 
raise  hate,  hell  (or  hell  and  tommy), 
and  to  raise  Ned  (q.v.).  To  pay  the 
cain,  to  pay  the  penalty. 

Cain  and  Abel.     A  table. 

Cainsham-smoke.  The  tears  of  a 
wife- beaten  husband  (Dunton)  (1694). 

Cake  (or  Cakey).  1.  A  fool,  a 
dullard  :  see  Buffle  (Grose),  2.  A  stupid 
policeman.  3.  (Christ's  Hospital).  A 
stroke  with  a  cane  :  also  as  verb,  to 
take  the  cake,  to  rank  highest,  carry  off 
honours,  be  the  best  of  a  kind,  nil  the 

bill  (theatrical).  In  certain  section! 
of  the  U.S.A.  cake  walks  have  long 
had  a  vogue  among  the  coloured 
people.  The  young  bucks  '  get  them- 
selves up  regardless,'  and  walk 
from  one  end  of  a  hall  to  the  other, 
under  the  gaze  of  dusky  beauty  and 
the  critical  glance  of  judges.  The 
marking  is  done  on  a  scale  of  numbers, 
and  ties  are  walked  off  with  the  utmost 
finish  and  rare  attention  to  style.  The 
prize  is  a  cake,  and  the  winner  takes  it.] 
Also  to  take  (or  yank)  the  bun,  to  slide 
away  with  the  Banbury,  to  annex  the 
whole  confectioner's  shop :  cf.  to  take 
the  kettle,  to  take  the  prize  for  lying. 
Hurry  up  the  cakes  1  Look  sharp  ! 
[Buckwheat  and  other  oat  cakes  form  a 
staple  dish  at  many  American  tables.] 
Like  hot  cakes,  quickly,  with  energy  ;  a 
variant  of  like  winking,  or  one  o'clock. 
Phrases :  You  can't  eat  your  cake 
and  have  it ;  One's  cake  is  dough, 
one's  project  has  failed  ;  Every  cake 
has  its  mate,  make,  or  fellow. 

Cake -fiddler  (or  Fumbler).  A 

Cakes  and  Ale.  A  good  time : 
also  Cakes  and  cheese. 

Cakey-pannum  Fencer.  See  Pan- 

Calaboose.  A  common  gaol. 
[From  the  Sp.,  calabozo,  through  the 
French.]  Also  as  verb,  to  imprison 

Calculate.  To  think,  expect, 
believe,  intend  :  see  Guess  and  Reckon. 
Sometimes  (New  England)  cal'late 

Calends.     See  Greek  Kalends. 

Caleys.  Caledonian  Railway  Ordin- 
ary Stock. 

Calf.  1.  An  ignoramus,  dolt,  weak- 
ling :  cf.  Calf  lolly  (1653).  For 
synonyms,  see  Buffle.  2.  An  endear- 
ment :  cf.  Puss,  Ape,  Monkey,  etc. 
3.  See  Essex  calf.  To  eat  the  calf  in 
the  cow's  belly,  to  anticipate,  to  count 
one's  chickens  before  they  are  hatched 
( 1 748).  To  slip  the  calf,  to  suffer  abor- 
tion, to  be  brought  to  bed  :  properly 
of  cattle.  Calf-oed,  a  cow's  matrix  ; 
also  parturition :  cf.  Child- bed  and 
Bairn  s-bed  (q.v.). 

Calf  -  clinger.  In  pi.,  pantaloons, 
i.e.  close-fitting  trousers. 

Calf  -  country  (land  or  ground). 
One's  birthplace ;  the  scene  of  early 
life.  Also  Calf-time,  the  period  of 



Camp-stool  Brigade. 

Calf,  Cow,  and  Bull  Week. 
Before  the  passing  of  the  Factory  Acts 
it  was  customary  in  manufacturing  dis- 
tricts to  work  very  long  hours  for  three 
weeks  before  Christmas.  In  the  first, 
calf  week,  the  ordinary  hours  were  but 
slightly  exceeded ;  in  the  second,  cow 
week,  they  were  considerably  aug- 
mented ;  and  in  the  third,  or  bull 
week,  operatives  spent  the  greater 
portion  of  the  twenty-four  in  their 
•«  orkshop. 

Calf's  -  head.  A  stupid,  witless 
individual  (1600).  See  Buffle. 

Calf-lick.     See  Cow-lick. 

Calf -lolly.  An  idle  simpleton  ;  a 
generic  reproach  (1653). 

Calf-love.  A  youthful  fancy, 
romantic  attachment  (1823). 

Calfskin-fiddle.     A  drum. 

Calf  -  sticking.  Selling  worthless 
rubbish,  on  the  pretence  that  it  is 
smuggled  goods,  to  any  foolish  or 
unscrupulous  person  who  can  be  in- 
veigled into  purchasing  it. 

Calibogus.  A  mixture  of  rum  and 
spruce  beer,  an  American  beverage 

Calico.  Thin,  wasted,  attenuated 
(Bailey,  1725). 

Calico  -  bally.  Somewhat  fast ; 
one  always  on  the  look-out  for  amuse- 

Californian.  A  red  herring :  see 
Glasgow  Magistrate.  In  pi.,  generic 
for  gold  pieces. 

Californian  -  widow.  A  married 
woman  whose  husband  is  absent,  a 
grass- widow  (q.v.).  The  least  offensive 
sense.  [At  the  period  of  the  Californian 
gold  fever  many  men  went  West, 
leaving  their  wives  and  families  behind 

Calk  (Eton).     To  throw. 

Call  (Eton).  The  time  when  the 
masters  do  not  call  Absence  (q.v. ).  To 
have  or  get  a  call  upon,  to  have  a  pre- 
ference, get  the  first  chance.  To  call 
a  go,  to  change  one's  stand,  alter  one's 
tactics,  give  in  at  any  game  or  business. 
See  Coals,  Put,  Spade,  Wigging. 

Calle.     A  cloak  or  gown  (Grose). 

Calp  (or  Kelp).  A  hat:  see  Gol- 

Cal vert's  Entire.  The  Fourteenth 
Foot.  [From  its  colonel's  name  ( 1 806- 
1826) :  three  entire  battalions  were 
kept  up  for  the  good  of  Sir  Harry, 
when  adjutant-general,  with  an  eye  on 
Calvert's  malt  liquors.  ] 

Calves.  Calves  gone  to  grass,  thin 
legs,  spindle-shanks.  There  are  many 
ways  of  dressing  calves'  heads,  many 
ways  of  saying  or  doing  a  foolish  thing, 
a  simpleton  showing  his  folly,  or, 
generally,  if  one  way  won't  do,  we 
must  try  another.  Calves'  heads  are 
best  hot,  a  sarcastic  apology  for  sitting 
down  to  eat  with  one's  hat  on. 

Calx  (Eton).  The  goal  line  at  foot- 
ball. [From  a  Latin  sense  of  calx,  a 
goal,  anciently  marked  with  lime  or 
chalk.]  As  Eton  calx  is  a  space  so 
marked  off  at  each  end  of  wall  (q.v.) ; 
good  calx  is  the  end  at  which  there  is 
a  door  for  a  goal ;  bad  calx  the  end 
where  part  of  an  elm  tree  serves  the 

Cambridge  -  oak.  A  willow:  of. 
Cotswold  lion,  Cambridgeshire  night- 
ingale, etc. 

Cambridgeshire  (or  Fen  Night- 
ingale). A  frog.  [The  county  is 
scored  with  canals  and  dykes.] 

Camd en-town.  A  halfpenny, 
brown  (q.v.) :  see  Rhino. 

Camel.     A  great  hulking  fellow. 

Camel's  Complaint.  Low  spirits, 
the  hump  (q.v.). 

Camese.  A  shirt,  chemise,  shimmy. 
[Sp.  camisa,  It.  camicia.~\  The  word  ap 
pears  in  various  forms  from  the  begin, 
ning  of  the  seventeenth  century,  e.g. 
camisa,  camiscia,  kemesa,  camise,  and 
in  a  more  genuinely  English  dress  as 
commission,  which  in  turn  is  shortened 
to  mish. 

Camister.  A  clergyman,  a 
blackgown  (1851). 

Camp.  To  go  to  camp,  to  go  to 
bed,  take  rest.  [In  early  settler  days 
a  camp  was  formed  whenever  a  halt  for 
the  night  was  called.]  To  take  into 
camp,  to  kill.  To  camp,  to  surpass, 

Campbell's  Academy.  The  hulks, 
or  lighters,  on  board  which  felons  were 
condemned  to  hard  labour.  [Mr. 
Campbell  was  the  first  director.] 

Camp-candlestick.  1.  An  empty 
bottle, ;  2.  a  bayonet. 

Camp-fire.  A  military  social  gather- 

Camp  -  follower.  A  prostitute, 
soldiers'  trull. 

Camp-stool  Brigade.  People  who 
wait  outside  a  place  of  entertainment 
for  hours  in  order  to  secure  seats. 
[Camp-stools,  now  prohibited  by  police 
order,  formed  part  of  the  outfit.] 




Can.  1.  A  dollar  piece:  see  Rhino. 
2.  A  general  servant,  slavey  (q.v.). 

Canack,  Canuck,  Kanuck, 
K'nuck.  A  Canadian :  usually  K'nuck. 
[Obscure,  and  limited  in  application : 
within  the  Canadian  frontier  a  Canuck 
is  understood  to  be  a  French  Canadian, 
just  as  within  the  limits  of  the  Union 
only  New  Englanders  are  termed 
Yankees  ;  elsewhere  the  appellation  is 
used  indiscriminately.] 

Canary  (or  Canary-bird).  1.  A 
prisoner  (1678).  2.  A  mistress.  3. 
A  sovereign,  20s.  :  formerly  a  guinea. 
English  synonyms :  yellow  boy,  gold- 
finch,  yellow  hammer,  shiner,  gingleboy 
monarch,  couter,  bean,  foont,  James 
(from  Jacobus),  poona,  portrait,  quid, 
thick  'un,  skin,  skiv,  dragon,  goblin  :  a 
guinea  was  also  called  a  ^ned.  French 
synonyms  (twenty  franc  piece) :  jaunet 
sigue  (sigle,  sigotte  or  cig),  bonnet  jaune, 
bouion,  mcdtaise,  moule  a  boutons,  me- 
daille  for.  4.  A  female  watcher  or 
stall  (q.v.),  mollisher  (q.v.) :  cf.  Crow, 
a  male  watcher :  Fr.  marque  franche. 
5.  (Salvation  Army),  a  written  promise 
of  a  donation  or  subscription.  [At  some 
of  the  meetings  of  the  Army,  instead 
of  sending  round  the  plate,  the  officers 
distribute  slips  of  paper  on  which  those 
present  are  invited  to  record  their  in- 
tentions :  the  original  colour  of  the 
slips  was  yellow.] 

Cancer.  To  catch  or  capture  a 
cancer.  See  Crab.  (1857). 

Candle.  In  pi.,  mucus  at  the  nose. 
Phrases :  To  hold  a  candle  to  another, 
to  help  :  see  Devil ;  not  able  (or  fit)  to 
hold  a  candle  to,  useless,  nothing  to  be 
compared  to;  to  sell  (or  let)  by  the 
candle  (or  by  inch  of  candle),  to  sell  by 
candle-auction:  bids  are  received  whilst 
a  small  piece  of  candle  burns,  the  last 
bid  before  the  candle  goes  out  securing 
the  article ;  to  smell  of  the  candle,  to 
show  trace  of  study  or  night- work  :  cf. 
to  smell  of  the  lamp ;  the  game  (play, 
etc.)  is  not  worth  the  candle,  the  end  (or 
result)  does  not  justify  the  cost  or 
labour  expended  ;  to  light  (or  burn)  the 
candle  at  both  ends,  to  consume  (or 
waste)  in  two  directions  at  once :  cf. 
Fr.,  Le  jeu  ne  veut  pas  la  chandelle 
(Cotgrave).  Also  Proverbs  and  Pro- 
verbial sayings  :  Set  forth  the  bright- 
ness of  the  sun  with  a  candle ;  He  burns 
one  candle  to  seek  another :  losing  both 
time  and  labour  ;  To  set  a  candle  in  the 
sunshine  ;  They  grope  in  the  dark  that 

light  not  their  candle  at  once  ;  To  hold 
a  farthing  candle  to  the  sun  ;  To  hide 
one's  candle  under  a  bushel  (Biblical : 
Matt.  v.  15). 

Candle-end.  In  pi.,  a  thing  of 
little  value  (short  duration,  or  small  im- 
portance), trifle,  fragment.  To  drink 
off  (or  eat)  candle  ends,  a  romantic 
extravagance  in  drinking  a  lady's 
health,  by  which  gallants  gave  token 
of  their  devotion. 

Candle-keeper  (Winchester).  One 
of  eight  seniors  in  college  by  election 
who  are  not  prefects.  [Most  of  the 
privileges  of  prefects  are  enjoyed  with- 
out their  powers.]  (1840). 

Candlestick.  1.  (Winchester).  A 
candidate  (1840).  2.  (London).  In 
pi.,  the  fountains  in  Trafalgar  Square. 

Candle  -  waster.  1.  A  night-stu- 
dent :  whence  candle-icasting :  cf.  To 
smell  of  the  candle,  to  show  traces  of 
study  at  night.  2.  A  small  portion  of 
burning  wick  that,  falling  on  the 
candle,  causes  it  to  run. 

Candy.  Drunk :  see  Screwed 

Candyman.  A  bailiff,  a  process 
server.  [In  1863,  during  a  strike  of 
miners  at  the  collieries  of  Messrs. 
Strakers  and  Love,  in  Durham  County, 
a  hawker  of  candy  and  sweetmeats  was 
employed  to  serve  writs  of  ejectment.] 

Canister.  1.  The  head :  see 
Crumpet  (1811).  2.  A  hat:  also 
canister-cap :  see  Golgotha. 

Cank.  Dumb,  silent.  [Curiously 
enough,  cank  also  signifies  to  chatter, 
cackle  as  a  goose ;  it  only  survives 
in  this  latter  sense.]  (1673). 

Cannibal  (Cambridge).  In  Bump- 
ing races  (q.v.)  a  college  may  be  repre- 
sented by  more  than  one  boat,  the  best 
talent  being  put  into  the  first ;  but  it 
has  sometimes  happened  that  the  crew 
of  the  second  have  disappointed  the 
prophets  and  bumped  the  first  of  ita 
own  college.  It  is  thus  termed  a 
cannibal,  having  eaten  up  its  own 
kind,  and  a  fine  is  exacted  from  it  by 
the  University  Boat  Club. 

Cannikin  (or  Canniken).  The 
plague  (1688). 

Cannis-cove.  A  dog-fancier. 
[Latin,  canis,  a  dog.] 

Cannon.     See  Canon. 

Cannon  -  balL  An  irreconcilable 
opponent  of  free  trade. 

Canoe.  To  paddle  one's  own  canoe, 
to  make  one's  own  way  in  life,  exhibit 




skill  and  energy,  succeed  unaided  :  of 
Western  American  origin,  but  now 
universal.  Also  to  bail  one's  own  boat ; 
Fr.,  il  conduit  or  U  mene  bien  sa  barque 

Canon  (or  Cannon).  Drunk  :  see 

Canoodle.  1.  To  fondle,  bill  and 
coo.  2.  (Oxford).  To  paddle  a  canoe. 
3.  To  share  profits.  4.  To  coax. 

Canoodler.     See  Canoodle. 

Canoodling.     Endearments. 

Cant.  1.  The  secret  speech  or  jargon 
of  the  vagrant  classes — gipsies,  thieves, 
beggars,  etc.;  hence,  contemptuously, 
the  peculiar  phraseology  of  a  particular 
class  of  subject :  see  Thieves'  Latin, 
St.  Giles'  Greek,  Peddlars'  French, 
etc.  (q.v.).  Also  as  verb,  to  whine,  to 
speak  the  jargon  of  gipsies,  beggars, 
and  other  vagrants,  and  (generic),  to 
speak,  to  talk  (1567).  2.  A  blow  or 
toss.  3.  Food :  also  Kant,  but  cf. 
sense  4.  (1851).  4.  A  gift. 

Cantab.  A  student  at  Cambridge 
University :  i.e.  Cantabrigian  (1750). 

Cantabank.  A  common  ballad 

Cantankerous.  Cross-grained,  ill- 
humoured,  self  -  willed,  productive  of 
strife.  Hence  cantankerously,  can- 
tankerousness,  cantankerate  (verb), 
and  cantankersome  (1773). 

Cante.     See  Canter. 

Canteen-medal.  A  stripe  for  the 
consumption  of  liquor. 

Canter.  A  vagrant,  beggar,  one 
who  cants  (q.v.)  or  uses  the  secret 
language  otherwise  called  Peddlars' 
French,  St.  Giles'  Greek,  etc. 

Canterbury.  In  derisive  allusion 
(old  Puritan)  to  the  see  of  Canterbury  : 
e.g.  Canterbury  -  tale  (or  story),  a 
tedious  yarn,  friars'  tale  or  fable,  cock- 
and-bull  story  (q.v.);  Canterbury- 
trick,  mean  dodge ;  Canterbury  pace 
(rack,  rate,  trot,  gallop),  the  pace  of 
a  pilgrim  on  his  way  to  the  shrine  of 
St.  Thomas  a  Becket,  a  half  gallop. 

Canticle.     A  parish  clerk  (Grose). 

Canting.  The  jargon  used  by 
beggars,  thieves,  gipsies,  and  vagrants : 
see  Cant  (1547). 

Canting  Crew.     See  Canter. 

Can't.  See  National  Intelligencer, 
Hole,  Ladder. 

Canuck.     See  Canack. 

Canvass.  To  receive  the  canvass, 
to  be  dismissed,  to  get  the  sack  (q.v.) : 
see  Bag  (1652). 

Canvasseens.  In  pi.,  sailors'  can- 
vas trousers  :  see  Kicks. 

Canvas-town.  The  Volunteer 
Encampment,  formerly  at  Wimbledon, 
now  at  Bisley,  at  the  meeting  of  the 
National  Rifle  Association :  also  any 
camp  or  baby-city. 

Cap.  1.  A  false  cover  to  a  tossing 
coin  ;  also  cover-down  :  the  cap  shows 
either  head  or  tail  as  it  is  left  on  or 
taken  off.  2.  The  proceeds  of  an  im- 
provised collection  :  cf.  to  send  round 
the  cap  or  hat  (1851).  3.  (West- 
minster). The  amount  of  the  collec- 
tion at  Play  and  Election  dinners. 
[The  College  cap  is  passed  round  on 
the  last  night  of  Play  for  contribu- 
tions.] As  verb,  (1)  To  stand  by  a 
friend,  take  part  in  any  undertaking, 
lend  a  hand.  (2)  To  take  off  (or  touch) 
one's  hat  in  salutation ;  also  to  cap  to, 
and  to  cap  it  (1593).  To  cap  one's 
lucky,  to  run  away  :  see  Bunk  ;  to  cap 
(or  cast)  one's  skin,  to  strip  naked  ;  to 
set  one's  cap  at,  to  set  oneself  to  gain 
the  affections  :  only  of  women  (1773); 
to  cap  a  quotation  (anecdote,  proverb, 
etc.),  to  fit  with  a  second  from  the 
same,  or  another,  author ;  to  go 
one  better,  in  the  way  of  anecdote 
or  legend  (1584) ;  to  pull  caps,  to 
wrangle  in  an  unseemly  way  :  only  of 
women  (1763) ;  to  cast  one's  cap  at,  to 
be  indifferent,  give  up  as  a  bad  job  ; 
to  come  (fall  under,  or  lie)  in  one's  cap, 
to  occur  to  mind,  run  in  the  head  ;  to 
put  on  one's  thinking  (or  considering) 
cap,  to  pass  under  review,  think  out ; 
the  cap  fits,  the  remark  or  description 
applies ;  to  have  enough  under  one's  cap, 
to  be  drunk :  see  Screwed ;  to  throw 
up  one's  cap,  to  manifest  pleasure  by 
throwing  one's  cap  in  the  air  ;  to  kiss 
caps  with  to  drink  out  of  the  same 
vessel :  hence  kiss  of  a  cap ;  to  drink 
cap  out,  to  empty ;  also  (proverbial), 
If  your  cap  be  of  wool ;  As  sure  as 
your  cap  is  of  wool ;  My  cap  is  better 
at  ease  than  my  head ;  Ready  as  a 
borrowed  cap. 

Cape  Cod  Turkey.  Salted  cod : 
also  Marblehead  turkey  :  cf.  Billings- 
gate pheasant,  Yarmouth  capon,  and 
Albany  beef  (1865). 

Capella.  A  coat  [Italian], 
English  synonyms :  benjamin,  cover- 
me-decently,  upper  benjamin  (a  great- 
coat), Joseph,  wrap-rascal,  claw-ham- 
mer, swallow-tail,  steel-pen  (all  three, 
a  dress  coat),  M.B.  coat,  panupetaston, 


Cape  Nightingale. 


rock-a-low,  reliever,  pygostole,  ulster, 
monkey-jacket :  see  Caster. 

Cape  Nightingale.  A  frog:  cf. 
Cambridgeshire  nightingale. 

Capeovi.     Sick,  seedy  (q.v.). 

Caper.  A  device,  idea,  perform- 
ance, occupation ;  in  America,  a 
racket  (q.v.),  e.g.  the  '  real  estate 
racket'  or  '  caper'  (1867).  To  cut  a 
caper  upon  nothing,  or  to  eat  caper 
sauce,  to  be  hanged :  see  Ladder. 

Caper-juice.     Whisky. 

Caper-merchant.  A  dancing 
master,  hop- merchant  (q.v.)  (Grose). 

Capital.  To  work  capital,  to  com- 
mit an  offence  punishable  with  death. 

Capivi  (or  Capivvy).  To  cry 
capiwy,  to  be  persecuted  to  the  death, 
or  very  near  it. 

Capon.  1.  A  red  herring ;  but 
applied  to  other  kinds  of  fish ;  herrings 
now  receiving  the  distinctive  cogno- 
men of  Yarmouth  capons  (1640).  2. 
A  term  of  reproach  —  dullard,  fool: 
Bee  Buffle(  1542).  3.  A  eunuch  (1594). 
4.  A  billet-doux  :  cf.  (Cotgrave)  Fr., 
povlet,  a  chicken,  also  a  love  letter,  or 
love  message  (1588). 

Capon-justice.  A  corrupt  judge 

Cappadochio  (Caperdochy,  or 
Caperdewsie).  A  prison  :  see  Cage. 

Capper.  1.  A  confederate ;  at 
cards  one  who  makes  false  bids  in 
order  to  encourage  a  genuine  player. 

2.  A  dummy  bidder  whose  function  is 
either  to  start  the  bidding  or  to  run  up 
the  price  of  articles  for  sale.  3.  A  per- 
son or  thing  who  caps,  or  beats,  all 
others ;   a  thing  which  beats   one's 
comprehension  (1790). 

Capper  -  clawing.  See  Clapper- 

Capsick,     Drunk  :  see  Screwed. 

Captain.  1.  A  familiar  and  jesting 
address :  cf.  Governor,  Boss,  etc. 
(1598).  2.  A  gaming  or  bawdy-house 
bully  (1731).  Captain  is  also  a  fancy 
title  for  a  highwayman  in  a  good  way 
of  business :  Fletcher  uses  the  term 
copper-captain,  as  also  does  Washing- 
ton Irving,  for  one  who  has  no  right  to 
the  title,  and,  in  modern  athletics,  we 
have  the  captain  of  a  club  or  crew,  with 
the  corresponding  verb,  to  captain. 

3.  Money :  see  Rhino.     4.  A  glandered 

Captain     Armstrong.      To     come 

Captain  Armstrong,  to  pull  a  horse 
and  prevent  him  from  winning.  Also 
Captain  Armstrong,  a  dishonest  jockey. 

Captain  Copperthorn's  Crew. 
All  officers :  of  a  company  where  every- 
one wants  to  be  first  in  command. 

Captain  Cork.  A  man  slow  in 
passing  the  bottle. 

Captain  Crank.  The  chief  of  a 
gang  of  highwaymen. 

Captain  Grand.  A  haughty, 
blustering  fellow  :  see  Furioso. 

Captain  Hackum.  A  hectoring 
bully  (Grose). 

Captain  Lieutenant  Meat 
neither  young  enough  for  veal,  nor  old 
enough  for  beef.  [Properly  a  brevet 
officer  who,  ranking  aa  captain,  re- 
ceives lieutenant's  pay  (Grose).] 

Captain  Queernabs.  A  shabby, 
ill-dressed  man  :  see  Guy. 

Captain  Quiz.     A  mocker. 

Captain  Sharp.  A  cheating  bully, 
one  whose  office  it  is  to  bully  a  'pigeon' 
refusing  to  pay  up  (Orose). 

Captain  Tom.  The  leader  of  a 
mob  ;  also  the  mob  itself  (Grose). 

Caravan.  1.  A  dupe,  gull,  subject 
of  plunder:  see  Bubble  (1676).  2.  A 
large  sum  of  money  (1690).  3.  A  train 
chartered  to  convey  people  to  a  prize 
fight.  [Early  in  the  present  century 
caravan,  now  shortened  to  van,  was 
applied  to  a  third  class  covered  railway 
carriage  ;  now  a  pleasure  party  is  so 
described  ;  also  a  gipsy's  cart ;  also 
the  wheeled  cages  of  a  travelling 

Caravansera.  A  railway  station  : 
thus :  The  scratch  must  be  toed  at 
sharp  five,  so  the  caravan  will  start  at 
four  from  the  caravansera  (Hotten). 

Card.  1.  A  device,  expedient,  or 
undertaking :  e.g.  a  good  card,  a 
strong  card,  a  safe  card,  a  likely,  or  a 
doubtful  card  (1537).  2.  A  character, 
odd  fish,  eccentric ;  generally  with 
knowing,  old,  queer,  downy,  rum, 
etc. :  cf.  Hamlet,  v.  ii.  (from  the 
card  table,  such  expressions  as,  a 
sure  card,  a  sound  card,  being  of 
very  ancient  use.  Osrio  tells  Hamlet 
that  Laertes  is  the  card  and  calendar 
of  gentry)  (1835).  3.  The  ticket 
(q.v.),  the  figure,  the  correct  thing. 
Hence  (American)  a  published  note, 
short  statement,  request,  explanation, 
or  the  like  ( Webster).  Phrases  :  To  give 
one  cards,  to  give  one  an  advantage, 
to  give  points :  Fr.,  fairt.  un  bauf ; 




on  the  cards,  within  the  range 
of  probability,  liable  to  turn  up : 
Dickens  popularised  the  expression 
(1749) ;  to  pack  (stock,  or  put  up)  the 
cards,  to  prepare  cards  for  cheating 
purposes ;  to  speak  by  the  card,  to 
speak  with  precision,  with  the  utmost 
accuracy  (1569) ;  to  face  (or  brag) 
it  out  with  a  card  of  ten,  to  put  on  a 
bold  front ;  a  cooling  card,  anything 
that  damps  one's  ardour,  a  wet  blanket 
(q.v.) ;  a  leading  card,  an  example, 
precedent ;  to  play  one's  best  card,  to 
stake  all,  do  one's  best ;  to  throw  (or 
fling)  up  one's  cards,  to  abandon  a  pro- 
ject ;  to  show  one's  cards,  to  make  a 
clean  beast,  full  explanation,  or  to 
reveal  the  extent  of  one's  resources  ;  to 
have  (or  go  in)  with  good  cards,  to  have 
good  grounds  for  expecting  success ;  to 
cast  (or  count)  one's  cards,  to  take  stack, 
reckon  chances  ;  a  house  (or  castle)  of 
cards,  an  unsecure  position,  scheme, 

Cardinal.  1.  A  red  cloak :  worn  by 
ladies  circa  1740  and  later.  2.  Mulled 
red  wine  (1861).  3.  A  shoeblack. 
Some  London  brigades  wear  red  tunics : 
that  stationed  in  the  City  is  now  better 
known  as  the  City  Reds.  4.  A  lobster : 
from  its  colour  when  cooked  (Jules 
Janin  once  made  a  curious  blunder  and 
called  the  lobster  le  cardinal  de  la  mer) ; 
whence  cardinal  hash,  a  lobster  salad. 
6.  A  new  [1890]  variety  of  red. 

Cardinal's  -  blessing.  A  bene- 
diction carrying  with  it  no  further 
advantage  (1720). 

Care.  Not  to  care  or  be  worth  a 
fig,  pin,  rap,  button,  cent,  straw,  rush, 
or  hang,  similes  of  indifference ;  to 
care  not  even  so  much  as  the  value  of  a 
fig,  a  pin,  or  a  straw :  FT.,  s1  en  battre 
Pceil :  see  Worth  (1590).  /  don't  care 
if  I  do,  &  street  phrase  of  no  parti- 
cular meaning ;  also  a  form  of  accept- 
ing an  invitation  to  drink  :  Will  you 
peg  ?  I  don't  care  if  I  do. 

Careaway.  An  exclamation  of 
merriment  or  recklessness.  Care 
begone !  Away  with  care !  Hence, 
a  reckless  fellow,  roisterer,  anything 
that  drives  away  care  (with  a  pun  on 
caraway)  (1440). 

Care-grinder.  A  treadmill,  also 
vertical  care-grinder  (q.v.) :  see  Wheel 
of  life. 

Cargo  (Winchester).  A  hamper 
from  home  (1840) ;  the  word  is  still  in 

Carter.     A  clerk  :  see  Quill-driver. 
Carlicues.     See  Curlycues. 
Carney  (or  C  a  r  n  y).     Seductive 
flattery,  language  covering  a  design ; 
as  verb,  to  wheedle,  coax,  insinuate 
oneself,  act  in    a   cajoling    manner ; 
hence  carneying,  wheedling,  coaxing, 

Carnish.  Meat.  [Ital.,  carne 
flesh:  through  the  Lingua  Franca.] 
Whence  carnish-ken,  a  thieves'  eating 
house,  prog-shop. 

Caroon.  A  five-shilling  piece :  see 
Rhino.  English  synonyms  :  bull  (or 
bull's  eye),  cartwheel,  coachwheel  (or 
simply  wheel),  tusheroon,  dollar,  thick 
'un(alsoasovereign),  case,  caser,decus. 

Carpet.  To  reprimand,  call  over 
the  coals,  give  a  wigging  (or  ear- 
wigging),  etc.  :  also  to  walk  the  carpet 
(1823).  As  adj.,  generic  for  luxury  and 
effeminacy  :  e.g.  carpet  consideration, 
friend,  gentry,  toy,  poet,  soldier,  knight 
(q.v.),  etc.  To  bring  on  the  carpet,  to 
bring  up  or  forward. 

Carpet-bagger.  A  political  adven- 
turer. [After  the  Civil  War,  numbers 
of  Northerners  went  south ;  they  were 
looked  upon  with  suspicion.  Originally 
a  wild-cat  banker  (q.v.)]. 

Carpet-bag  Recruit.  A  recruit  of 
better  than  ordinary  standing,  i.e.  one 
with  more  than  he  stands  upright 

Carpet  -  knight.  A  stay-at-home 
soldier,  a  shirker  of  practical  work,  a 
petticoat  dangler :  also  in  such  com- 
binations as  carpet  -  captain,  carpet- 
squire  ;  all  in  contempt. 

Carpet-swab.   A  carpet-bag  (1837). 

Carrier.  A  rogue  employed  to 
look  out,  and  watch  upon  the  roads,  at 
inns,  etc.,  in  order  to  carry  information 
to  their  respective  gangs,  of  a  booty  in 
prospect  (B.  E.). 

Carrier-pigeon.  1.  A  cheat,  spec, 
a  lottery  office  swindler  (1781).  [The 
sharper  attended  the  drawing  of  a  lot- 
lery  in  the  Guildhall,  and  as  soon  as  a 
number  or  two  are  drawn,  wrote  them 
on  a  card ;  a  confederate,  ready 
mounted,  rode  full  speed  to  some 
distant  insurance  office,  where  another 
of  the  gang,  commonly  a  decent- 
looking  woman,  insured  for  a  con- 
siderable sum,  thus  biting  the  biter 
(Grose).]  2.  A  peripatetic  commission 
agent,  a  kind  of  tout. 

Carrion.  The  human  body ;  for- 
merly a  corpse. 




Carrion-case.  A  shirt,  chemise: 
carrion,  the  human  body:  Bee  Flesh- 

Carrion  Hunter.  An  undertaker 

Carrots.  In  pL,  red  hair:  also  a 
proper  name  (1685).  Take  a  carrot  I 
A  contemptuous  retort:  originally 

Carry.  To  carry  coals,  to  put  up 
with  insults,  endure  an  affront  or  in- 
jury (1593)  ;  to  carry  boodle, see  Boodle; 
to  carry  real  estate,  to  neglect  the  finger 
nails ;  to  carry  out  one's  bat,  see  Bat ; 
to  carry  corn,  to  bear  success  well  and 
equably :  of  a  man  who  breaks  down 
under  a  sudden  access  of  wealth,  or 
who  becomes  affected  and  intolerant,  it 
is  said,  He  doesn't  carry  corn  well ;  to 
carry  on,  to  make  oneself  conspicuous 
by  a  certain  line  of  behaviour,  conduct 
oneself  wildly  or  recklessly,  joke  or 
frolic  ;  also,  in  a  special  sense,  open  to 
flirt  openly :  whence  carryings  on, 
frolicsome  or  questionable  proceedings, 
a  course  of  conduct  that  attracts  atten- 
tion (1663);  carry  me  out  and  bury 
me  decently,  a  dovetail  to  an  incredible 
story,  or  something  displeasing  ;  varied 
by  Let  me  die  !  Good  -  night !  etc., 
as  also  by  Carry  me  home !  Carry 
me  upstairs  !  Carry  me  out  and  leave 
me  in  the  gutter !  (a  writer  in  Notes 
and  Queries  (2  S.,  iii.  387)  states  it  to 
have  been  in  use  circa  1780) ;  to 
carry  the  stick  :  see  Trip  up. 

Carry-castle.  An  elephant 

C  a  r  s  e  y.  A  house,  den,  or  crib. 
[Lingua  Franca  casa,  a  house.] 

Cart  To  defeat :  in  a  match,  fight, 
examination,  race,  etc. :  e.g.  we  carted 
them  home,  we  gave  them  an  awful 
licking.  In  the  cart  (or  carted),  an 
employee  is  said  to  put  an  owner  in  the 
cart,  when,  by  trick  or  fraud,  his  horse 
is  prevented  from  winning  :  also  in  the 
box ;  2.  in  the  know,  in  the  hunt ; 
3.  the  lowest  scorer  at  any  point  is 
said  to  be  in  the  cart ;  sometimes  on 
the  tailboard  ;  to  walk  the  cart,  to  walk 
over  a  racecourse ;  to  cart  off  (out  or 
away),  to  remove ;  to  set  (or  put)  the 
cart  before  the  horse,  to  reverse  matters 
(1520) ;  to  be  left  out  of  the  cart's  tail, 
to  suffer  loss  or  injury  through  care- 
lessness (1541) ;  to  keep  cart  on  wheels, 
to  peg  away,  keep  things  going. 

Cart  -  grease.  Butter,  spec,  bad 
butter.  English  synonyms:  cow-grease, 

Thames  mud,  cow-oil,  spread,  scrape, 
smear,  ointment,  sluter. 

Carts.  A  pair  of  shoes :  see  Trotter- 

Cart  -  wheel.  1.  A  five-shilling 
piece,  also  coach-wheel,  and  wheel : 
see  Rhino.  2.  A  broad  hint.  3.  A 
continuous  series  of  somersaults  in 
which  the  hands  and  feet  alternately 
touch  the  ground,  the  appearance  pro- 
duced being  similar  to  the  spokes  of  a 
cart  wheel  in  motion ;  also  Catharine 
wheel  (1851). 

Carver  and  Gilder.  A  match- 
maker :  cf.  fingersmith,  a  midwife. 

Casa.     See  Case. 

Cascade.  1.  Tasmania  beer :  be- 
cause manufactured  from  '  cascade ' 
water :  cf.  Artesian.  2.  A  trundling 
gymnastic  performance  in  panto- 
mime. As  verb,  to  vomit  (1771). 

Case.  1.  A  certainty  in  fact,  an 
accentuated  or  abnormal  instance  in 
character.  When  two  persons  fall  in 
love,  or  are  engaged  to  marry,  it  is  said 
to  be  a  case  with  them.  An  eccentric 
person  is  a  case.  2.  A  bad  five-shilling 
piece.  Half  a  case,  a  bad  half-crown, 
cf.  Caser.  3.  A  house,  respectable  or 
otherwise :  spec,  a  brothel,  and,  by 
transference,  a  water-closet  (1678). 
4.  (Westminster  School).  The  discus- 
sion by  Seniors  and  Upper  Election 
preceding  a  tanning  (q.v.),  and  the 
tanning  itself.  A  case  of  crabs,  a 
failure ;  a  case  of  pickles,  an  incident, 
a  bad  breakdown,  a  break  up ;  a  case 
of  stump,  impecuniosity. 

Caseine.  A  variant  of  The  cheese 
(q.v.) :  cf.  Cassan.  (1856). 

Caser.  Five  shillings :  see  Case 
and  Caroon.  (1879). 

Case-vrow.     A  dress-lodger  (q.v.). 

Casey.     Cheese :  see  Cassan. 

Cash.  Equal  to  cash,  of  unquestion- 
able merit ;  to  cash  a  prescription,  to  get 
a  prescription  made  up  ;  cash  or  pass  in 
one's  checks,  to  die  (in  poker,  counters 
or  checks,  purchased  at  certain  fixed 
rates,  are  equivalent  to  coin) ;  to  cash 
up,  to  liquidate  a  debt. 

C  a  s  h  e  1  s.  Great  Southern  and 
Western  of  Ireland  Railway  Stock. 
[Said  to  be  derived  from  the  fact  that 
the  line  originally  had  no  station  at 

Cask.  A  brougham,  pill-box  (q.v.) : 
Fr.,  bagniole. 

Cass.     See  Cassan. 

Cassan.     Cheese ;  also  cass,  casson, 




cassam,  cassom,  and  casey.  The  old- 
est form  is  cassan  (1567).  English 
synonyms  :  caz,  sweaty  -  toe,  choke  - 

Cast.     See  Accounts,  Sheep's  Eyes. 

Castell.     To  see,  look  (1610). 

Caster.  1.  A  cloak  (1567).  2.  A 
cast-off  (1859). 

Castieu's  Hotel.  Melbourne  gaol : 
so  called  from  Mr.  J.  B.  Castieu  :  see 

Castle -rag.  A  fourpenny  piece, 
flag  :  see  Joey. 

Cast-off.  1.  In  pi.,  landsmen's 
clothes :  see  Togs.  2.  A  discarded 
mistress  :  see  Cast. 

Castor.  A  hat :  Latin,  castor,  a 
beaver :  hats  were  formerly  made  of 
beaver's  fur:  see  Golgotha.  (1640). 

Cat.  1.  A  prostitute  (1401).  2. 
A  shortened  form  of  Cat-o' -nine-tails 
(q.v.)  (1788).  3.  A  lady's  muff.  4. 
A  quart  pot :  pint  pots  are  Kittens : 
cat  and  kitten  sneaking,  stealing  pewter 
pots  (1851).  5.  See  Tame  cat.  6.  A 
fanciful  monster  infesting  lodging 
houses,  which  devours  with  equal 
readiness  cold  meat  and  coals,  spirits 
and  paraffin,  etc.,  etc.  (1827).  Fly- 
ing  cat,  an  owl  (1690).  To  jerk,  shoot, 
or  whip  the  cat  (or  to  cat),  to  vomit 
(1609).  To  whip  the  cat  (or  to  draw 
through  the  water  with  a  cat).  1.  To 
indulge  in  practical  jokes  (1614): 
hence  cat-whipping  or  whipping  the  cat : 
A  trick  often  practised  on  ignorant 
country  fellows,  vain  of  their  strength  ; 
by  laying  a  wager  with  them  that  they 
may  be  pulled  through  a  pond  by  a 
cat ;  the  bet  being  made,  a  rope  is 
fixed  round  the  waist  of  the  party  to 
be  catted,  and  the  end  thrown  across 
the  pond,  to  which  the  cat  is  also 
fastened  by  a  pack-thread,  and  three 
or  four  sturdy  fellows  are  appointed 
to  lead  and  whip  the  cat ;  these,  on  a 
given  signal,  seize  the  end  of  the  cord, 
and  pretending  to  whip  the  cat,  haul 
the  astonished  booby  through  the 
water  (Grose)  2.  To  work  at  private 
houses.  Phrases :  To  see  how  the 
cat  will  jump,  to  watch  events  and  act 
accordingly ;  also  (American)  to  sit  on 
the  fence  (1827) ;  you  kill  my  cat  and 
Ptt  kill  your  dog.  Ca'  me,  ca'  thee, 
an  exchange  in  the  matter  of  scratch- 
ing backs  :  FT.,  passez  moi  la  casse,  et 
je  t'envarrai  la  senne  ;  to  let  the  cat  out 
of  the  bag,  to  reveal  a  secret,  to  put 
one's  foot  in  it  (this  and  the  kindred 

phrase,  To  buy  a  pig  in  a  poke,  are 
said  to  originate  in  the  bumpkin's 
trick  of  substituting  a  cat  for  a  young 
pig  and  bringing  it  to  market  in  a  bag  : 
if  the  customer  were  wary  the  cat  was 
let  out  of  the  bag,  and  there  was  no 
deal) ;  who  ate  or  stole  the  cat  ?  a 
gentleman  whose  larder  was  frequently 
broken  by  bargees,  had  a  cat  cooked 
and  placed  as  a  decoy :  it  was  taken  and 
eaten,  and  became  a  standing  jest 
against  the  pilferers  ;  to  lead  a  cat  and 
dog  life,  to  quarrel  night  and  day ;  to 
turn  cat  in  the  pan,  to  '  rat,'  to  reverse 
one's  position  through  self-interest, 
to  play  the  turncoat  (the  derivation  is 
absolutely  unknown  :  the  one  gener- 
ally received  —  that  cat  is  a  corrup- 
tion of  cate  or  cake,  is  historically 
untenable)  (1559) ;  to  feel  as  though  a 
cat  had  kittened  in  one's  mouth,  to 
have  a  mouth,  after  drunkenness. 
Many  other  phrases  and  proverbial 
sayings  will  occur  to  mind  :  A  cat  may 
look  at  a  king,  a  retort  on  impertinent 
or  ill  -  placed  interference,  there  are 
certain  things  which  an  inferior  may 
do  in  presence  of  a  superior ;  care 
kitted  the  cat,  the  strongest  will  ulti- 
mately break  down,  even  though  one 
had,  like  the  proverbial  cat,  nine 
lives  ;  enough  to  make  a  cat  speak  (or 
laugh),  of  something  very  extraordin- 
ary or  facetious  (frequently  of  very 
good  drink) ;  to  fight  like  Kilkenny 
cats,  to  engage  in  a  mutually  destruc- 
tive struggle  ;  to  bell  the  cat :  see  Bell ; 
to  grin  like  a  Cheshire  cat.  Also  pro- 
verbial sayings,  Wisdom  is  great  if  the 
cat  never  touched  milk ;  The  cat 
winks  when  her  eye  is  out ;  The  cat 
likes  (or  will  eat)  fish,  but  she  will  not 
wet  her  feet  to  catch  them ;  In  the  dark 
(or  when  the  candle  is  out)  all  cats  are 
grey  ;  Cats  are  not  to  be  caught  with- 
out mittens  ;  The  cat  will  after  kind  ; 
Evil  will  abide  as  long  as  a  cat  is  tied 
to  a  pudding ;  As  like  as  a  cat  and  a 
cart  wheel ;  Not  room  enough  to 
swing  a  cat ;  A  cat  and  mouse  game. 

Catabaptist  A  denier  of  the  ortho- 
dox doctrine  of  baptism  :  16th  and 
17th  cent.  [Coined  by  Gregory  Naz- 

Catamarin.  A  vixenish  old  woman 
a  cross-grained  person  of  either  sex 

Catamount  (Catamountain,  or  Cat 
o'  Mountain).  A  shrew.  [Cf.  Cata- 
marin and  Beaumont  and  Fletcher's 


Cat  and  Mouse. 


use  of  the  word  for  a  wild  man 
from  the  mountains,  a  transferred 
sense  of  catamount,  a  leopard  or 

Cat  and  Mouse.     A  house. 

Catastrophe.  The  tail  or  latter 
end :  cf.  the  Falstaffian  I'll  tickle 
your  catastrophe. 

Catawampous  (Catawamptiously). 
With  aridity,  fiercely,  eagerly,  or 
violently  destructive  ( 1843).  As  subs, 
pi.,  vermin,  especially  those  that  sting 
and  bite. 

Catch.  A  man  or  woman  matri- 
monially desirable  ;  formerly  a  prize  or 
booty  ( 1593).  In  combination  anything 
that  catches  :  e.g.  catch-all,  catch-bit, 
catch-cloak,  catch-coin,  catch-credit, 
catch  -  fish,  catch  -  fool,  catch  -  penny 
(guinea,  shilling,  etc.)  and  so  forth. 
To  catch  (or  cut)  a  crab.  (1)  To  turn 
the  blade  of  the  oar,  or  feather,  under 
water  at  the  end  of  the  stroke,  and 
thus  be  unable  to  recover ;  (2)  to 
lose  control  of  the  oar  at  the  middle  of 
the  stroke  by  digging  too  deeply  ;  or 
(3)  to  miss  the  water  altogether, — also 
to  capture  a  cancer,  and  (American) 
to  catch  a  lobster ;  to  catch  a  tartar, 
to  unexpectedly  meet  with  one's 
superior,  to  fall  into  one's  own  trap, 
having  a  design  upon  another,  to  be 
caught  oneself :  also  to  catch  on  a 
snag  (q.v.)  (1682);  catch  that  catch 
may  (catch  as  catch  can,  etc.),  to  help 
oneself,  each  as  he  can  ;  catch  me  I  (or 
catch  me  at  it !),  an  emphatic  denial 
(1780) ;  to  catch  it,  to  get  a  thrashing 
or  scolding  (1835);  to  catch  on,  to 
understand,  grasp,  apprehend,  quickly 
seize  an  opportunity  ;  to  catch  the  eye, 
to  arrest  attention  ;  to  catch  fire,  to  be- 
come inflamed  with  passion,  inspired 
with  zeal,  etc.  ;  to  catch  on  a  snag,  to 
catch  a  tartar  (q.v.),  meet  with  one's 
superior  ;  to  catch  on  the  hop,  to  catch 
or  have  on  the  hip,  as  Gratiano  catches 
Shylock :  see  Hop ;  to  catch  the  wind 
of  the  world,  to  quickly  understand 
the  meaning  of  what  is  said.  See 

Catch-'em-alive  (or  alivo).  1. 
A  fly-paper.  2.  A  tooth  comb. 

Catch-fart     A  footman,  page-boy. 

Catch  -  pole.  A  warrant  -  officer, 
bum-bailiff :  formerly  in  respectable 
use,  but  employed  contemptuously 
from  the  sixteenth  century  (1377). 

Catchy.  Vulgarly  or  cheaply  at- 
tractive, of  a  quality  to  take  the  eye  or 

ear,  easily  caught  and  remembered 
(as  a  tune)  (1831). 

Caterpillar.  A  soldier:  see  Mud- 

Caterwaul.  To  make  a  noise  like 
cats  at  rutting  time,  woo,  make  love 

Catever.  A  queer  or  singular 
affair,  anything  poor  or  bad.  [Lingua 
Franca,  and  Ital.,  cattivo,  bad.] 

Catfish  death.  Suicide  by  drown- 

Catgut  -  scraper.  A  fiddler :  also 
scraper  or  teaser  of  the  catgut,  rosin- 
tin-- how  (1633). 

Cat  -  harping  fashion.  Drinking 
cross  ways,  and  not  as  usual  over  the 
left  thumb  (Qrose). 

Cat  -  head.  In  pi.,  the  paps :  see 

Cathedral  (Winchester).  A  high 
hat :  see  Golgotha ;  as  adj.,  old- 
fashioned,  antique  (1690).  [Because 
only  worn  when  going  to  the  Cathe- 

Catharine  Puritan.  A  member 
of  St.  Catharine's  Hall,  Cambridge.  [A 
pun  on  Catharine  and  Kadoipuv,  to 
purify.]  Also  Doves  (q.v.) 

Catherine  Hayes.  A  liquor  con- 
sisting of  claret,  sugar,  and  nutmeg 
(1856).  [The  derivation  may  presum- 
ably be  traced  to  the  immense  popu- 
larity of  the  Irish  singer  at  the  an- 

Cat's.  St.  Catharine's  Hall :  whence 
Cat's  men,  members  of  St.  Catharine's 

Catherine  Wheel.     See  Cartwheel 

Cat  -  lap.  Thin  potations  of  any 
sort,  especially  tea  (1785). 

Cat-market.  A  number  of  people 
all  talking  at  once :  e.g.  You  make  a 
row  like  a  cat- market,  a  general  cater- 

Cat  -  match.  When  a  rook  or 
cully  is  engaged  amongst  bad  bowlers 

Catoller  (or  Catolla).  A  noisy, 
prating  fellow  :  a  foolish  betting  man 

Cat  -  o'  -  nine  -  tails  (or  cat).  A 
nine-lashed  scourge  still  occasionally 
used  on  criminals,  but  until  1881  the 
authorised  means  of  punishment  in  the 
British  army  and  navy.  In  prison  par- 
lance the  cat-o' -nine- tails  is  Number 
one,  or  the  Nine- tailed  bruiser  (q.v.), 
the  birch  being  Number  two  (q.v.) 




Cat-party  (Bitch  -  party).  A 
gathering  of  women. 

Cats.  Atlantic  Seconds  :  for  tele- 
graphic purposes. 

Cats  and  Dogs.  To  rain  cats  and 
dogs,  and  pitchforks  and  shovels,  to  rain 
heavily  (1738). 

Cat's-foot.  To  live  under  the 
cafs  foot,  to  be  under  petticoat  gov- 
ernment, hen  -  pecked :  cf.  Apron- 

Cat's  -  head  (Winchester).  The 
end  of  a  shoulder  of  mutton. 

Catskin  -  earls.  The  three  senior 
earls  in  the  House  of  Lords,  viz.  the 
Earls  of  Shrewsbury,  Derby,  and 
Huntingdon,  the  only  three  earldoms 
before  the  seventeenth  century  now 
existing,  save  those  that  (like  Arundel, 
Rutland,  etc.),  are  merged  hi  higher 
titles,  and  the  anomalous  earldom  of 
Devon  (1553),  resuscitated  in  1831. 

Cat's-meat.     The  lungs. 

Cat's  -  paw  (or  Cat's  -  foot).  A 
dupe,  tool.  [A  reference  to  the  fable 
(Bertrand  et  Baton)  of  a  monkey  using 
the  paw  of  a  cat,  dog,  or  fox,  to  pull 
roasted  chestnuts  off  the  fire,  current 
in  the  sixteenth  century,  but  varying 
considerably  in  details.  ]  ( 1 657 ). 

Cat-sticks.     Thin  legs  (1785), 

Cat's-water.     Gin. 

Cattie.  An  imperfect  or  smutty 
look  on  a  printed  sheet,  caused  by  an 
oily  or  unclean  roller. 

Cattle.  A  term  of  contempt : 
applied  to  human  beings :  e.g.  queer 
cattle,  kittle-cattle  (1577).  Cattle  is 
often  used  of  horses. 

Cattle-bug.     See  Bug. 

Caudge-pawed.  Left-handed 

Caught.  Caught  on  the  fly,  caught 
hi  the  act,  on  the  hop,  or  hip. 

Cauliflower.  1.  A  clerical  wig 
supposed  to  resemble  a  cauliflower ; 
modish  in  the  time  of  Queen  Anne.  2. 
The  foaming  head  of  a  tankard  of 
beer.  In  Fr.,  linge  or  faux-col.  3.  In 
pi.  the  Forty-seventh  Regiment  of 
Foot :  from  its  white  facings. 

Caulk.  1.  Sleep  ;  as  verb,  to  sleep : 
also  subs.,  caulking  (1836).  2.  To 
cease  ;  shut  up  ;  i.e.  stop  one's  talk,  or 
leave  off  talking. 

Caulker.  1.  A  dram,  stiff  glass  of 
grog :  generally  a  finishing  bumper. 
When  this  happens  to  be  sherry  and 
follows  the  drinking  of  red  wines,  it  is 
called  a  whitewash  (q.v.)  (1808).  2. 

A  lie,  anything  surprising  or  in- 
credible :  see  Whopper. 

Caution.  Anything  out  of  the 
common,  wonderful,  staggering,  to  be 
avoided,  that  causes  surprise,  wonder, 
fear.  At  Oxford,  in  1865,  a  guy 
or  cure  (1835).  Whence  cautionary, 
that  which  is  a  caution. 

Cavaulting  -  school.  A  house  of 

Cave  (or  Cave  in).  To  give  way 
when  opposition  can  no  longer  be 
maintained,  break  up,  turn  up. 
English  synonyms :  to  knuckle  under, 
knock  under,  give  in,  sing  small,  turn 
it  up,  chuck  it  up,  jack  up,  climb  down 
(q.v.),  throw  up  the  sponge,  chuck  it, 
go  down,  go  out,  cut  it,  cut  the  rope 
(pugilistic),  etc.  ( 1 877).  Cave  !  (Eton). 
Beware !  a  byword  among  boys 
out  of  bounds  when  a  master  is  in 

Caviare.  Obnoxious  matter 
blacked  out  by  the  Russian  press 
censor.  Every  foreign  periodical 
entering  Russia  is  examined  for  ob- 
jectionable references  or  irreligious 
matter,  the  removal  whereof  is  accom- 
plished in  two  ways.  If  the  items  or 
articles  are  bulky,  they  are  torn  or  cut 
out  bodily.  If  they  are  brief,  they  are 
blacked  out  by  means  of  a  rect- 
angular stamp  about  as  wide  as  an 
ordinary  newspaper  column,  and 
cross-hatched  in  such  a  way  that, 
when  hiked  and  dabbed  upon  the 
paper,  it  makes  a  close  network  of 
white  lines  and  black  diamonds.  The 
peculiar  mottled  or  grained  look  of  a 
page  thus  treated  has  suggested  the 
attributive  caviare  :  a  memory  of  the 
look  of  the  black  salted  caviare  spread 
upon  a  slice  of  bread  and  butter.  As 
verb,  to  black  out. 

Cavort.  To  prance,  frisk,  run  or 
ride  in  a  heedless  or  purposeless 
manner.  [Lingua  Franca,  cavolta, 
prancing  on  horseback.]  (1848). 

Cawbawn.     See  Cobbon. 

Caw  -  handed  (or  Caw  -  pawed). 
Awkward,  not  dexterous,  ready  or 
nimble  (Grose). 

Caxton.  A  wig.  [A  corruption  of 

C  a  y  u  s  e.  A  nickname  given  by 
Mormon  girls  to  young  Latter  Day 
Saints :  the  Yahoos  of  the  Gentiles. 
[The  cayuse  is  properly  the  common 
Indian  pony.] 

Caz.     Cheese:  seeCassan.     (1812). 



Cedar  (Eton).  1.  A  pair -oared 
boat,  inrigged,  without  canvas,  and 
very  crank.  [From  the  material] 

2.  A  pencil. 

Celestial- poultry.     Angela. 

Celestial.  1.  In  pi.,  The  Ninety- 
seventh  Regiment  of  Foot.  2.  A 
turn  -  up  or  pug  nose :  see  Conk. 

3.  A  Chinaman.    [The  Chinese  Empire 
is  spoken  of  as  the  Celestial  Empire.] 

Cellier.  An  out-and-out,  unmiti- 
gated lie :  an  echo  of  the  Meal-tub 
plot  (1682).  Cf.  Burke,  Boycott, 
Bishop,  and  Salisbury. 

Cellar-flap.  A  step  or  dance 
performed  within  the  compass  of  (say) 
a  cellar-flap :  the  Whitechapel  artist 
achieves  as  many  changes  of  step  as 
possible  without  shifting  his  ground  : 
his  action  being  restricted  to  the  feet 
and  legs :  also  to  cut  capers  on  a 
trencher :  to  double-shuffle. 

Cent.     See  Worth. 

Cent-per-cent.     A  usurer  (Grose). 

Centurion.  A  batsman  scoring  a 
hundred  runs.  [From  Centurion,  the 
commander  of  a  '  century,'  in  the 
Roman  Army.] 

Century.  A  hundred  pounds ;  or 
at  cricket,  etc.,  a  score  of  a  hundred. 
[Originally  a  division  of  the  Roman 
Army  numbering  100  men.  In  Eng- 
lish it  was  and  is  in  common  use  to 
signify  a  group  of  a  hundred.] 

Cert.  A  certainty :  also  a  dead 
(or  moral)  certainty,  a  dead  'un,  and  a 
moral  (1859). 

Certainty.  An  infant  of  the  female 
aex :  see  Uncertainties. 

Chafe.  To  thrash  soundly,  warm 

C  h  a  ff .  1.  Ironical  or  sarcastic 
banter,  fooling,  humbug,  ridicule.  As 
verb,  to  banter,  jest,  gammon,  or  quiz 
(1821).  Chaffy,  full  of  banter.  2. 
(Christ's  Hospital).  A  small  article  or 
plaything,  e.g.  a  pocket  chaff ;  as 
adj.  (Christ's  Hospital),  pleasant,  glad : 
sometimes  chaffy.  As  intj.  (Christ's 
Hospital),  an  exclamation  signifying 
joy  or  pleasure.  Also  phrases  and 
proverbs :  neither  corn  nor  chaff, 
nondescript,  neither  one  thing  nor 
another  (1835) ;  To  sett  corn  and  eat 
chaff,  to  deny  oneself,  play  the  miser 
(1579) ;  A  grain  of  wheat  in  a  bushel  of 
chaff,  poverty  of  result,  much  cry  and 
little  wool. 

Chaff-cutter.  A  back-biter, 

Chaffer.  1.  A  quizzer,  banterer 
(q.v.).  2.  The  mouth,  the  tongue 
( 1  v_'  1 ) ;  to  moisten  one's  chaffer,  to 
drink :  see  Lush. 

Chaffing-crib.  The  place  where  a 
man  receives  his  intimates ;  a  den, 
snuggery,  diggings  (1821). 

Chained  (or  Chain)  Lightning. 
Whisky  of  the  vilest  description : 
warranted  to  kill  at  forty  rods :  also 
forty-rod  lightning. 

Chain  -  gang.  Jewellers  ;  watch- 
chain  makers:  Fr.,  boguiste  and  chain- 

Chair.  To  put  in  the.  chair,  to 
commit  to  prison  :  of  drivers  neglect- 
ing to  pay  hire  for  their  cabs. 

Chairmarking.  Inserting  the  date 
in  a  cab-driver's  licence  in  words  in- 
stead of  figures  :  or,  endorsing  it  in  an 
unusually  bold,  heavy  hand  :  a  hint 
to  possible  employers  that  the  holder 
is  undesirable.  In  other  trades  it  is 
understood  that  an  unexceptionable 
character,  with  the  adjectives  care- 
fully underlined,  is  to  be  read  as  imply- 
ing just  the  opposite  of  what'  it  appears 
to  say. 

Ch'aldese.  To  trick,  cheat,  take 
in  (1G84). 

Chalk.  1.  A  score,  reckoning ; 
whence,  by  chalks,  many  chalks,  long 
chalks,  etc.,  i.e.  degrees  or  marks  ;  also 
credit,  tick  (1529).  2.  A  scratch  or 
scar  (1846).  As  verb,  (1)  To  score 
up,  tick  off.  (2)  To  make  one  stand 
treat,  or  pay  his  footing ;  an  old 
hand  succeeds  in  chalking  the  shoes 
of  a  green  hand,  the  latter  has  to 
stand  drinks  all  round.  (3)  To  strike : 
cf.  chalkers,  sense  1  (1822).  Phrases: 
To  chalk  up  (or  chalk  it  up),  to  credit, 
take  credit,  put  to  one's  account 
( 1 597) ;  to  beat  by  long  (or  many)  chalks, 
to  beat  thoroughly,  show  appreciable 
superiority  (1857) ;  to  icalk  (or  stump 
one's  chalks),  to  move  or  run  away,  be 
off ;  to  be  able  to  walk  a  chalk,  to  be 
sober  (the  ordeal  on  board  ship  of 
trying  men  suspected  of  drunkenness 
is  to  make  them  walk  along  a  line 
chalked  on  the  deck,  without  deviating 
to  right  or  left) ;  making  chalks,  a 
term  connected  with  the  punishment 
of  boys  on  board  ship,  and  in  the  * 
Royal  Naval  School :  two  chalk  lines 
are  drawn  wide  apart  on  the  deck  or 
floor,  and  a  boy  to  be  punished  places 
a  foot  on  each  of  these  lines,  and 
stoops,  thereby  presenting  a  con- 




venient  section  of  his  person  to  the 
boatswain  or  master ;  to  chalk  the 
lamp-post,  to  bribe :  see  grease  the  palm 
(1857).  Other  expressions  connected 
with  chalk  are,  to  know  chalk  from 
cheese  ;  to  chalk  out,  etc. 

Chalker.  1.  In  pi.,  Men  of  wit 
in  Ireland,  who  in  the  night  amuse 
themselves  with  cutting  inoffensive 
passengers  across  the  face  with  a  knife. 
They  are  somewhat  like  those  facetious 
gentlemen,  some  time  ago  known  in 
England  by  the  title  of  sweaters  and 
mohocks  (Grose).  2.  A  milkman. 

Chalk  -  farm.  The  arm.  English 
synonyms:  bender,  hoop-stick,  fin, 

Chalk  -  head.  One  with  a  good 
head  for  figures :  spec,  a  waiter 

Cham  (or  Chammy).  Champagne, 
(q.v.),  boy. 

Chamber  of  Horrors.  1.  The 
Peeresses'  Gallery  in  the  House  of 
Lords  :  cf.  Cage,  sense  4.  2.  In  pi., 

Chance.  To  have  an  eye  to  the  main 
chance,  to  keep  in  view  that  which 
will  advantage  (1609).  To  chance  the 
ducks,  to  risk  what  one  may,  take 
every  chance :  also,  to  chance  the 

Chance r.  A  liar;  also  an  in- 
competent workman :  i.e.  one  who 
chances  what  he  cannot  do. 

Changery.  In  chancery,  in  pugil- 
ism, the  head  under  the  left  arm  of 
an  opponent  so  that  he  can  pound 
away  at  it  with  his  right ;  also  fig.,  in 
a  parlous  case,  an  awkward  fix : 
FT.,  chancetterie  and  coup  de  chan- 
cetterie,  almost  literal  translations 

Chaney-eyed.  One-eyed :  cf. 

Change.  To  give  change,  to  pay 
out,  give  one  his  deserts ;  whence,  to 
take  one's  change  out  of,  to  get  even 
with,  give  tit  for  tat :  see  infra ;  to 
have  all  one's  change  about  one,  to  be 
clever,  quick-witted,  compos  mentis, 
with  twelve  pence  to  the  shilling  about 
one ;  to  put  the  change  on,  to  deceive 
mislead  (1667);  to  ring  the  changes, 
to  change  better  for  worse ;  also  to 
pass  counterfeit  money,  to  pitch  the 
snide  (q.v.) :  see  Ring  (1661) ;  to  take 
the  change  out  of  [a  person  or  thing], 
to  be  revenged,  take  an  equivalent,  get 
quid  pro  quo  :  e.g.  Take  your  change  out 

of  that  !  with  a  blow  or  other  rejoinder : 
cf.  Put  that  in  your  pipe  and  smoke 
it !  (1829);  quick  change  artiste,  a  per- 
former, male  or  female,  who  sings  one 
song  in  one  costume,  retires  for  a  few 
seconds  and  returns  to  sing  another  in 
another  guise,  and  so  on ;  to  change  one's 
note  (or  tune),  to  pass  from  laughter  to 
tears,  from  arrogance  to  humility,  to 
alter  one's  mode  of  speech,  behaviour, 
etc.  :  see  Breath.  (1578). 

Change-bags  (Eton).  Grey  flannel 
trousers  for  cricket,  and  knicker- 
bockers for  football. 

Chant  (or  Chaunt).  1.  A  song; 
to  throw  off  a  rum  chaunt,  to  sing 
a  good  song  (1882).  2.  A  cipher, 
initials,  or  mark  of  any  kind,  on  a 
piece  of  plate,  linen,  or  other  article ; 
anything  so  marked  is  said  to  be 
chanted ;  also  an  advertisement  in  a 
newspaper  or  handbill,  etc.  (1812). 
As  verb,  (1)  to  talk,  sing  praise,  cry, 
crack  up:  FT.,  pousser  la  goualante: 
street  patterers  and  vendors  chant 
their  songs  and  wares,  oftentimes  to 
an  extent  not  warranted  by  their  qual- 
ity. (2)  To  sell  a  horse  by  fraudulent 
representation:  Fr.,  enrosser  (1816). 
Hence  chanter  (generally  horse-clianter, 
(1)  a  fraudulent  horse-dealer  ;  and  (2) 
a  street  patterer :  commonly  spelt 
chaunter  (q-v-) ;  chanting,  selling 
unsound  or  vicious  horses  by  a  trick. 

Chantey  (or  Chanty).  A  song 
sung  by  sailors  at  their  work.  The 
music  is  to  a  certain  extent  tradi- 
tional, the  words  —  which  are  com- 
monly unfit  for  ears  polite  —  are 
traditional  likewise.  The  words  and 
music  are  divided  into  two  parts — the 
chanty  proper,  which  is  delivered  by 
a  single  voice,  with  or  without  a  fiddle 
obligato,  and  the  refrain  and  chorus, 
which  are  sung  with  much  straining  and 
tugging,  and  with  peculiar  breaks  and 
strange  and  melancholy  stresses,  by  a 
number  of  men  engaged  in  the  actual 
performance  of  some  piece  of  bodily 

Chantie.     A  chamber-pot :  see  It. 

Chapel  (or  Chapel  of  ease).  A 
water-closet :  see  Mrs.  Jones. 

Chapel  of  little  ease.  The  police 
cells :  see  Little  ease. 

Chapped.  Parched,  dry,  thirsty 

Chappie  (or  Chappy).  The  latest 
variety  ( 1890)  of  a  man  about  town,  a 
dandy  :  a  term  of  intimacy. 




Character.  A  man  or  woman 
exhibiting  some  prominent  (and 
usually  contemptible)  trait,  an  eccen- 
tric, a  case  (q.v.) :  generally  with 
low,  queer,  comic,  etc.  (1773). 

Charactered.  Burnt  in  the  hand, 
lettered  (q.v.)  (1785). 

Charing-Cross.    A  hone  ;  see  Prad. 

Chariot.  An  omnibus :  in  the 
sixteenth  century  a  vehicle  of  any 
kind,  and  in  the  eighteenth  a  light 
four-wheeled  carriage. 

Chariot- buzzing.  Picking  pockets 
in  an  omnibus. 

Charity.  Cold  as  charity,  lacking 
in  feeling,  perfunctory  ;  charity  begins 
at  home,  ties  of  family,  friendship,  etc., 
come  first. 

Charley  (or  Charlie).  1.  A 
night-watchman.  A  popular  name, 
prior  to  the  introduction  by  Sir  R. 
Peel,  in  1829,  of  the  present  police 
force ;  since  fallen  into  desuetude. 
The  Charlies  were  generally  old  men 
whose  chief  duty  was  crying  the  houron 
their  rounds.  Boxing  a  Charley  was 
a  favourite  amusement  with  young 
bucks  and  bloods  :  when  they  found  a 
night-watchman  asleep  in  his  box, 
they  would  overturn  it,  leaving  the 
occupant  to  escape  as  best  he  might. 
Charles  I.  reorganised  the  watch 
system  of  the  metropolis  in  1640.  2. 
A  small  pointed  beard,  fashionable  in 
the  time  of  Charles  I.  :  cf.  Imperial, 
Goatee.  3.  A  fox.  4.  A  watch.  5. 
(tailors')  The  nap  on  glossy-surfaced 
cloth,  also  a  round-shouldered  figure. 

Charley  Bates'  farm  (or  garden). 
See  Bates'  farm. 

Charley  -  Lancaster.  A  hand- 

Charley-  pitcher.  A  sharper 
working  the  thimble-rig,  three-card 
trick,  prick  the  garter,  etc. 

Charley-Prescot     A  waistcoat 

Charley-wag.  To  play  the 
Charley-wag,  to  absent  oneself  from 
school  without  leave,  play  truant ; 
figuratively  to  disappear  :  Fr.,  tailler 
(or  caler)  Fecole. 

Charlies.  1.  The  paps :  see 
Dairy.  2.  (Winchester :  obsolete). 
Thick  gloves  made  of  twine.  [Intro- 
duced by  a  Mr.  Charles  Griffith.] 

Charm.  1.  A  picklock  (1785). 
2.  In  pi.,  the  paps:  Fr.,  lea  appas: 
once  in  literary  use,  but  now  impos- 
sible except  as  slang.  3.  In  pi., 
generic  for  money  :  see  Rhino. 

Charter.  To  charter  the  bar  (or 
grocery).  To  buy  all  the  liquor  in 
stock  and  stand  drinks  round  as  long 
as  it  lasts :  this  freak  was  not  infre- 
quent in  the  West  In  Australia  a 
similar  expression  is  to  shout  oneself 
hoarse  (q.v.). 

Chasing.  Exceeding  a  given  average 
standard  of  production. 

Chasse.  To  dismiss:  Fr.,  chaster 

Chat  1.  A  house.  2.  The  truth, 
real  state  of  a  case,  proper  words 
to  use,  correct  card  (1819).  3. 
Gabble,  chatter,  impudence ;  e.g. 
None  of  your  chat  As  verb,  to  hang : 

C hates.  1.  The  gallows:  also 
Chattes  and  Chats  (1567):  see 
Nubbing-cheat.  2.  In  pi.,  lice.  Eng- 
lish synonyms  :  active  citizens,  crabs, 
crumbs,  friends  in  need,  back  friends, 
grey  backs,  black  cattle,  Scots  Greys, 
gentleman's  companions,  creepers, 
gold  -  backed  'uns,  German  ducks, 
dicky-birds,  familiars,  saddle-backs, 
Yorkshire  Greys. 

Chat-hole.  A  hole  in  a  wall,  made 
to  carry  on  conversation  (prison). 

Chats.  1.  See  Chates.  2.  Seals, 
3.  London,  Chatham,  and  Dover  Rail- 
way Stock. 

Chatterbox.  An  incessant  talker  ; 
contemptuously  of  adults  and  play- 
fully of  children.  Also  chatter-basket, 
chatter-bones,  chatter-cart,  chatter- 
bladder,  chatter-bag,  chatter-pie,  etc. 
Chatter  -  broth  (or  water),  tea,  scandal 
broth  (q.v.).  Chitter  •  chatter  (or 
Chatter-chitter),  small  talk,  gossip. 
Chatter-house,  a  resort  for  women 

Chatterer.  A  blow  upon  the 
mouth,  or  a  blow  that  tells  (1827). 

Chatterers.  The  teeth  :  see 

Ch  alter y.  Cotton  or  linen  goods 

Chatty.  A  filthy  man :  see  Chat 
As  adj.,  filthy,  lousy. 

Chatty-feeder.     A  spoon. 

Chaunt  See  Chant  To  chaunt 
the  play,  to  explain  the  tricks  and 
manoeuvres  of  thieves. 

Chaunter.  1.  A  street  ballad 
singer,  reciter  of  dying  speeches,  etc. 
Rarely  heard  now  except  in  the  poor- 
est neighbourhoods.  The  practice  is 
peculiar.  One  man  gets  as  far  as  he 
can,  and  when  his  voice  cracks  a  com- 

Chaunter -cove. 


panion  takes  things  up.  2.  See 
Chanter,  sense  1. 

Chaunter-cove.     A  reporter. 

Chaunter-cull.  A  writer  of  bal- 
lads and  street  literature  for  the  use  of 
chaunters  (q.v.).  They  haunted  cer- 
tain well  -  known  public  houses  in 
London  and  Birmingham,  and  were 
open  to  write  ballads  to  order  on  any 
subject,  the  rate  of  remuneration 
varying  from  half-a-crown  to  seven- 
and-sixpence.  The  chaunter  having 
practically  disappeared,  his  poet  has 
gone  with  him  (1781). 

Chaunter  upon  the  Leer.  An 

Chauvering  -  donna  (or  -  moll). 
A  prostitute :  see  Tart. 

Chaw.  1.  A  countryman,  yokel, 
bumpkin.  In  common  use  at  publio 
schools  (1856).  2.  A  mouthful,  gob-, 
bet,  what  can  be  crammed  in  the 
mouth  at  once,  e.g.  a  quid  of  tobacco, 
a  dram  of  spirits,  etc.  :  as  verb,  to  eat, 
chew  noisily,  and  roughly  bite :  once 
literary,  now  specifically  to  chew 
tobacco  (1749).  3.  A  trick,  device, 
sell ;  also  to  deceive.  Phrases :  To 
chaw  over,  to  create  ridicule  by  repeat- 
ing one's  words ;  to  chaw  up,  to  get  the 
better  of,  demolish,  do  for,  smash  or 
finish ;  chawed  up,  utterly  done  for 
(1843) ;  to  chaw  up  one's  words,  to 
retract  an  assertion,  to  eat  one's  words. 

Chawbacon.  A  countryman,  a 
bumpkin  (q.v.).  Other  nicknames  are 
bacon-slicer,  clod-hopper,  barn-door 
savage,  clod-pole,  cart-horse,  Johnny, 
cabbage-gelder,  turnip-sucker,  joskin, 
jolterhead,  yokel,  clod  -  crusher,  etc. 

Cheap.  On  the  cheap,  at  a  low  rate 
[of  money],  economically,  keeping  up  a 
showy  appearance  on  small  means  ; 
cheap  and  nasty,  of  articles  pleasing  to 
the  eye,  but  shoddy  in  fact :  cf.  Cheap 
and  nasty,  like  Short's  in  the  Strand, 
a  proverb  applied  to  the  deceased 
founder  of  cheap  dinners,  now  a  well- 
known  wine-bar  ;  to  feel  cheap,  to  have 
a  mouth  on,  suffering  from  a  night's 
debauch ;  dirt  cheap  or  dog  chaep,  in- 
expensive, as  cheap  as  may  be :  dog 
cheap  is  the  earliest  form  in  which 
this  colloquialism  appears  in  English 
literature  (1577),  dirt  cheap  not  being 
found  earlier  than  1837. 

Cheapside.  He  came  home  by  way 
of  Cheapside,  i.e.  he  gave  little  or 
nothing  for  it,  he  got  it  cheap. 

Cheat.  Generic  for  a  thing,  spec, 
the  gallows ;  also  the  Nubbing,  Top- 
ping, or  Treyning-cheat.  The  word 
is  variously  spelt — chet,  chete,  cheate, 
cheit,  chate,  cheat.  The  following  com- 
binations illustrate  its  use  :  —  Bdly- 
chete,  an  apron ;  Ueting-chete,  a  sheep 
or  calf ;  cackling-chete,  a  fowl ;  crashing- 
cheats,  the  teeth ;  grunting-chete,  a  pig ; 
hearing -chetes,  the  ears  ;  low1  ing -chete, 
a  cow ;  lullaby  -  chete,  an  infant ; 
mofling  -  chete,  a  napkin  ;  nubbing- 
cheat,  the  gallows ;  prattling -chete,  the 
tongue  ;  quacking -chete,  a  duck :  smell- 
ing-chete,  the  nose  ;  topping-cheat,  the 
gallows  ;  treyning-cheat,  the  gallows  ; 
trundling  -  cheat,  a  cart  or  coach  —  all 
of  which  see  (1567). 

Cheats.  Sham  cuffs  or  wristbands, 
half  sleeves :  cf.  Dicky  and  Sham 

Checks.  Generic  for  money,  cash 
[A  poker  term].  To  pass  (or  hand)  in 
one's  checks,  to  die  :  see  Hop  the  twig. 

Cheek.  1.  Insolence,  jaw ;  e.g. 
None  of  your  cheek,  None  of  your 
jaw.  Equivalents  are  lip,  chat, 
imperance,  mouth,  chin,  chirrup,  and 
nine  shillings  (nonchalance)  (1840). 
2.  Audacity,  confidence,  impudence, 
brass,  face.  Formerly  brow  was  used 
in  the  same  sense  (1642).  Also  as 
verb  in  both  senses.  To  one's  own 
cheek,  to  one's  own  share,  all  to  oneself 
(1841) ;  to  cheek  up,  to  answer  saucily. 

Cheek  -  ache.  To  have  the  cheek- 
ache,  to  blush,  to  be  abashed. 

Cheekiness.  Impudence,  effront- 
ery, cool  audacity  (1847). 

Cheekish  (or  Cheeky).  Audacious, 
impudent,  saucy. 

Cheeks.  1.  The  posteriors.  2.  An 
accomplice  (1857). 

Cheeks  and  Ears.  A  kind  of 
head-dress  (1600). 

Cheeks  the  Marine.  Mr.  Nobody : 
popularised  by  Captain  Marryat.  Also 
a  sarcastic  rejoinder  to  a  foolish  or 
incredible  story,  Tell  that  to  Cheeks 
the  marine  (1833). 

Cheer.  To  change  cheer,  to  exhibit 
emotion,  change  countenance  ;  to  make 
a  cheer,  to  assume  a  look  of  anger,  fear, 
shame,  etc.  ;  what  cheer  ?  how  are 
you  ?  with  good  cheer,  readily, 
gladly ;  to  be  of  good  cJieer,  to  be  hi 
good  fettle,  stout  of  heart,  courageous ; 
the  fewer  the  better  cheer,  the  fewer 
there  are,  the  more  there  is  for  each 
to  eat. 



Cheese.  1.  The  cheese,  any  thing  first- 
rate  or  highly  becoming ;  the  expres- 
sion runs  up  and  down  the  whole 
gamut  of  cheese  nomenclature,  from 
the  Stilton,  Double  Gloster,  to  the 
pure  Limburger  (1835).  2.  An  adept, 
one  who  takes  the  shine  out  of 
another  :  at  Cambridge  an  overdressed 
dandy  is  a  howling  cheese.  Hard 
cheese,  what  is  barely  endurable,  hard 
lines,  bad  luck ;  tip-cheese,  probably 
Tip-cat  (q.v.);  cheese  it  I  leave  off! 
have  done  !  be  off  !  (1811).  To  make 
cheeses  (Fr.,  faire  des  fromages),  a 
schoolgirl's  amusement :  turning 
rapidly  round  and  round,  the  figure- 
maker  suddenly  sinks  to  the  floor, 
causing  the  petticoats  to  inflate  some- 
what in  the  form  of  a  cheese  :  also 
a  deep  curtsey  (1867).  See  Bread, 
Chalk,  Moon. 

Cheese-box.  A  Confederate  nick- 
name for  a  vessel  of  the  Monitor 
type  (1860-65):  cf.  Tinclad. 

Cheese  -  cutter.  1.  A  prominent, 
aquiline  nose :  see  Conk.  2.  A  large, 
square  peak  to  a  cap :  Fr.,  Zouave 
abatjour.  3.  In  pi.,  bandy-legs :  see 

Cheese  -  knife.  A  sword :  also 

Cheesemongers.  The  First  Life- 
guards. [Bestowed,  it  is  said,  on 
account  of  veterans  declining  to  serve 
when  the  corps  was  remodelled  in 
1788,  on  the  ground  that  the  ranks 
were  no  longer  composed  of  gentle- 
man, but  of  cheesemongers.]  Also 
The  cheeses. 

Cheeser.     An  eructation. 

Cheeses.     See  Cheesemongers. 

Cheese  -  toaster.  A  sword.  Eng- 
lish synonyms :  Toasting-fork,  toast- 
ing iron,  sharp,  knitting-needle,  iron, 
cheese-knife,  tool,  poker  (1785). 

Cheesy.  Fine,  showy:  the  reverse 
of  dusty  (q.v.)  (1858). 

Chemiloon.  Chemise  and  drawers 
in  one,  a  combination  (q.v.). 

Chepemens.  Cheapside  Market 

Cheque.  To  have  seen  the  cheque, 
to  know  positively,  be  possessed  of 
exact  knowledge  concerning  a  matter. 

Cherrilet     A  nipple  (1599). 

Cherry.  A  young  girl :  cf.  cherry 
ripe  and  rosebud. 

Cherry-breeches.     See  Cherubims. 

Cherry  -  coloured.  Either  red  or 
black ;  in  allusion  to  a  cheating  trick 

at  cards.  [When  cards  are  being  dealt, 
a  knowing  one  offers  to  bet  that  he 
will  tell  the  colour  of  the  turn-up  card. 
Done,  says  Mr.  Green.  The  sum 
being  named,  Mr.  Sharp  affirms  that 
it  will  be  cherry  -  colour ;  and  as 
cherries  are  either  black  or  red,  he  wins 
(Qrose).  Cherry -coloured  cat,  one  either 
black  or  white  in  colour  (1785). 

Cherry-  merry.  1.  Convivial, 
slightly  inebriated:  see  Screwed 
(1602).  2.  A  present  of  money. 
Cherry-merry-bamboo,  a  beating. 

Cherry-pickers.     See  Cherubims. 

Cherry-pie.     A  girl. 

Cherry-ripe.  1.  A  woman :  also 
cherry-pipe.  2.  A  Redbreast  (q.v.), 
Bow  Street  runner.  A  scarlet  waist- 
coat formed  part  of  the  uniform.  3. 
A  footman  in  red  plush.  4.  A  pipe. 

Cherubims  (vulgo,  Cherry-bums). 
1.  The  Eleventh  Hussars.  [From  the 
crimson  overalls.]  Also  Cherry- 
breeches  and  Cherry  -  pickers.  2. 
Peevish  children  :  an  allusion  to  the  Te 
Deum,  To  Thee  cherubin  and  seraphin 
continually  do  cry.  3.  Chorister  boys. 
To  be  in  the  cherubims,  to  be  in  good 
humour,  in  the  clouds,  unsubstantial, 
fanciful  (1542). 

Cheshire  -  cat  To  grin  lite  a 
Cheshire  cat  [chewing  gravel,  eating 
cheese],  to  laugh  broadly,  all  over  one's 
face  (1782). 

Chest.  To  chuck  out  one's  chest, 
to  pull  oneself  together,  stand  firm, 
keep  a  stiff  upper  lip. 

Chestnut.  A  stale  joke  or  story, 
an  old  '  Joe,'  something  frequently 
said  or  done  before. 

Chete.     See  Cheat 

Chew.     A  small  portion  of  tobacco, 
a  quid.     To  chew  oneself,  to  get  angry  ; 
to  chew  the  cud,  to  chew  tobacco  ;  also 
to  think,  to  turn  over  in  one's  mind 
to  chew  the  rag  (or  fat),  to  grumble. 

Chewallop  !  Onomatopoeia :  re- 
presenting, it  is  thought,  the  sound  of 
an  object  falling  heavily  to  the  ground 
or  into  water:  see  Cachunk  (1835). 

Chewre.    To  steal. 

Chic.  Finish,  elegance,  spirit,  dash 
style — any  quality  which  marks  a  per- 
son or  thing  as  superior.  [Originally  a 
French  slang  term  of  uncertain  origin, 
Littre  being  inclined  to  trace  it  to  chic- 
ane, tact  or  skill.  The  French  chic 
originally  signified  subtlety,  cunning, 
skill ;  and,  among  English  painters,  to 
chic  up  a  picture,  or  to  do  a  thing  from 




chic,  to  work  without  models  and  out 
of  one's  own  head]  (1856).  As  adj., 
stylish,  elegant,  up  to  Dick. 

Chickabiddy.  A  young  girl :  cf. 
Chick-woman  (Much  Ado,  i.  iii.). 

Chickaleary-cove  (or  bloke).  An 
artful  member,  a  downy  cove  (q.v.). 

Chicken.  A  pint  pot :  cf.  hens 
and  chickens,  and  cat  and  kittens 
(1851).  No  chicken,  elderly  (1720); 
to  count  one's  chickens  before  they  are 
hatched,  to  reckon  beforehand  upon 
a  successful  issue  (the  Latins  said, 
Don't  sing  your  song  of  triumph 
before  you  have  won  the  victory 
— ante  victoriamcanere  triumphum) 

Chicken  -  butcher.  A  poulterer  ; 
also  (sporting),  any  one  shooting  im- 
mature game  (1811). 

Chicken-fixings.  Properly  a  hash, 
stew,  or  fricassee  of  chicken,  but  the 
term  is  now  applied  to  any  fare  out 
of  the  common  ;  also  to  show  of  any 
kind  :  Fr.,  gueulardise :  cf.  common 

Chicken-flesh.     Goose-flesh   (q.v.). 

Chicken-pecked.  Governed  by  a 
child  :  cf.  hen-pecked. 

Chicken-thief.     A  petty  thief. 

Chi-ike  (or  Chy-ack).  A  street 
salute,  a  word  of  praise  (1869).  Also 
as  verb,  to  salute  or  hail,  and  (tailors') 
to  chaff  unmercifully.  To  give  chi-ike 
with  the  chill  off,  to  scold. 

Child.     See  This  child.     Also  in 

Eroverbs  and  proverbial  phrases,  The 
urnt  child  dreads  the  fire  (1400). 
The  child  unborn  (a  type  of  inno- 
cence. Children,  drunkards,  and  fools 
cannot  lie.  Once  an  old  man,  twice 
a  child.  Many  kiss  the  child  for  the 
nurse's  sake. 

Child-crowing.     Croup. 

Child-geared.     Childish,  silly. 

Child  -  queller.  A  severe  discip- 

Children' s-shoes.     See  Make. 

Chill  (or  take  the  chill  off). 
To  warm.  With  the  chill  off,  an  ex- 
pression of  (1)  dissent,  (2)  depreciation, 
or  (3)  disbelief  :  cf.  over  the  left  (q.v.). 

Chime.  To  praise,  extol,  puff, 
canoodle  (q.v.),  especially  with  a  view 
to  personal  advantage.  To  chime  in, 
to  agree,  endorse,  spec,  to  break  into 
an  argument  with  a  note  of  approval : 
also  to  chime  in  with  (1838). 

Chimney.  A  great  smoker :  Fr., 

Chimney  -  chops.  A  negro  :  see 

Chimney-pot.  The  silk  hat  worn 
by  men,  and  sometimes  by  women 
on  horseback :  beaver,  bell- topper, 
etc.,  but  see  Golgotha :  Fr.,  cheminee 

Chimney  -  sweep.  1.  A  black 
draught :  cf.  custom  -  house  officer. 
2.  A  clergyman :  vice  versa  sweep  = 

Chin.  A  child.  As  verb,  to  talk, 
chatter :  spec,  to  talk  loudly,  impu- 
dently, or  abusively.  To  hold  up  by 
the  chin,  to  support,  encourage,  save 
from  disaster  (1562) ;  of  the  first  chin, 
with  sprouting  beard  ;  up  to  the  chin, 
deeply  engaged,  involved,  over  head 
and  ears. 

Chinas.  Eastern  Extension  Aus- 
tralasian and  China  Telegraph  Shares. 

Chin-chopper.  A  drive  under  the 
chin :  see  Dig. 

Chinese  -  compliment.  Seeming 
deference  to  others,  one's  mind  being 
already  made  up. 

Chink.  Generic  for  money,  ready 
cash :  also  chinkers,  or  jink :  see 
Rhino  (1557). 

Chinker.  In  pi.,  handcuffs :  see 

Chin  -  music.  Talk,  chatter,  ora- 
tory :  also  chin-wag :  Fr.,  casser  un 
mot.  Chinning,  talking,  chatting ; 
chinny,  talkative  :  see  Chin. 

Chin  qua   soldi.      Fivepence  :  Ital. 

Chinse     (Winchester).     A  chance. 

Chip.  1.  An  item  of  news  :  spec,  a 
local  (q.v.).  2.  A  reporter  who  col- 
lects chips.  3.  A  sovereign :  see 
Rhino.  As  verb,  to  understand  :  see 
Twig.  To  chip  in,  to  contribute  one's 
share  in  money  or  kind,  join  in  an 
undertaking,  interpose  smartly ;  not 
to  care  a  chip,  to  care  naught,  not 
even  the  value  of  a  counter  :  see  Cent, 
Fig,  Rap,  Straw,  etc.  ;  brother  chip, 
brother  smut,  one  of  the  same  trade 
or  profession  ;  chip  of  the  same  (or  the 
same  old)  block,  a  person  reproduc- 
ing certain  familiar  or  striking  char- 
acteristics ;  chip  in  porridge,  broth, 
a  thing  of  no  moment,  nonentity 
(1686).  Also  Chip,  &  man  or  thing : 
a  bloke,  cove,  cheat  (1628). 

Chipper.  Fit,  active,  ready  to 
chip  in. 

Chippy,  unwell,  seedy :  usually  of 
over-indulgence  hi  eating,  drinking, 




Chips.  1.  A  carpenter  (1785).  2. 
Counters  used  in  games  of  chance  :  cf. 
checks.  3.  Cards.  4.  Money.  5. 
( Wellington  College).  A  kind  of  grill : 
from  its  hardness.  To  hand  in  one't 
chips,  to  die. 

Chirp.  To  talk  :  spec,  to  inform 

Chirper.  1.  A  singer.  2.  A  glass 
or  tankard  ( 1 802).  3.  The  mouth  :  see 
Potato  trap.  4.  A  stage  door  black- 
mailer: if  money  be  refused  them,  they 
go  into  the  auditorium  and  hoot,  hiss, 
and  groan  at  the  performer. 

Chirping-merry.  Exhilarated  with 
liquor  (Grose). 

Chirpy.     Cheerful,  likely  (1837). 

Chirrup,  verb  (music-hall).  To 
cheer  or  applaud  a  public  singer, 
speaker,  etc.,  for  a  consideration  :  FT., 
daguer.  Hence  chirruper  and  chirrup- 

Chisel  (Chizzle,  or  Chuzzle). 
To  cheat,  defraud,  swindle  ( Jamieson) 
(1808).  Hence,  chiselling,  cheating. 
To  go  full  chisel,  to  go  full  speed,  or 
full  drive,  show  intense  earnestness, 
use  great  force,  go  off  brilliantly 

Chit  1.  A  letter  (1785),  corrup- 
tion of  a  Hindoo  word.  2.  An  order 
for  drinks :  in  clubs,  etc.  3.  A  girl : 
under  age  and  undersized.  4.  Food 
eaten  in  the  hand :  aa  a  thumber 
(q.v.),  a  workman's  lunch,  and  a 
child's  piece  (q.v.). 

Chit-chat  Chatter,  familiar  con- 
versation :  cf.  tittle  -  tattle,  bibble- 
babble,  etc.  [Johnson:  only  used  in 
ludicrous  conversation.] 

Chitterlings.  Shirt  frills  :  cf. 
Ger.,  Gekrose. 

Chitty.  An  assistant  tailor's  cutter 
or  trimmer. 

Chitty  -  faced.  Thin,  weazened, 
baby-faced  (1601). 

Chiv.     See  Chive. 

Chive  (or  Chiv).  A  knife.  Eng- 
lish synonyms :  Arkansas  toothpick 
(a  bowie  knife),  cabbage  -  bleeder, 
whittle,  gully,  jockteleg  (a  clasp  knife  : 
a  corruption  of  Jacques  de  Liege) 
snickersnee  (nautical),  cuttle,  cuttle- 
bung,  pig-sticker  (1674).  As  verb,  to 
stab,  to  knife  (q.v.) 

Chive  -  fencer.  A  street  hawker 
of  cutlery. 

C  h  i  v  e  y  (or  Chivvy).  A  shout, 
greeting,  cheer :  cf.  Chi-ike.  As 
verb,  to  guy  (q.v.),  chase  round, 

hunt  about,  throw  or  pitch  about 

Chiving-lay.  Cutting  the  braces  of 
coaches  behind,  whereupon,  the  coach- 
man quitting  the  box,  an  accomplice 
broke  and  robbed  the  boot  Also 
cutting  through  the  back  of  the  coach 
to  snatch  the  large  and  costly  wigs 
then  fashionable  (Grose). 

Chivy  (or  Chevy).  The  face.  As 
verb,  to  scold,  bullyrag. 

Choakee.     See  Chokey. 

Chock.  To  strike  a  person  under 
the  chin. 

Checker.  A  man :  generally  old 
checker,  but  not  necessarily  in  con- 

Chocolate.  To  give  chocolate  with- 
out sugar,  to  reprove  (Grose). 

Choke-  doe.  Cheese  ;  especially 
hard  cheese  made  in  Devonshire. 

Choke.  To  choke  off,  to  get  rid  of, 
put  a  stop  to,  run  contrary  to.  English 
synonyms,  to  shut  off,  shunt,  fub  off, 
rump,  cold  shoulder  (1818). 

Choker.  1.  A  cravat ;  spec,  the 
large  neckerchief  once  worn  high  round 
the  neck  ;  also  white  choker  (q.v.),  the 
neckgear  peculiar  to  evening  dress. 
English  synonyms :  neckinger,  tie  (now 
technical,  but  formerly  slang),  crum- 
pler  (1845).  2.  An  all-round  collar: 
cf.  all-rounder.  3.  A  garotter ;  see 
Wind-stopper.  4.  Prison,  lock  up, 
quod  :  see  Chokey.  5.  The  hangman  s 
rope,  squeezer,  halter.  White-choker, 
a  parson. 

Chokey  (Choky,  Chokee,  or 
Checker).  1.  A  prison.  Queen's  (or 
King's)  Chokey,  the  Queen's  (or  King's) 
Bench  Prison  :  obe.  2.  A  cell :  spec, 
a  punishment  cell. 

Chonkey.  A  species  of  mince-meat 
cake  (1851). 

Chop.  1.  A  blow  :  once  (sixteenth 
and  seventeenth  centuries)  literary, 
and  still  respectable  in  some  senses: 
e.g.  a  chopping  (i.e.  beating)  sea,  2. 
An  exchange,  barter,  and  as  verb,  to 
barter,  buy  and  sell,  change  tactics, 
veer  from  one  side  to  the  other, 
vacillate  :  see  Chop,  verb  (1485) ;  e.g. 
to  chop  logic,  to  give  argument  for 
argument ;  to  chop  stories,  to  cap  one 
anecdote  with  another.  3.  To  change 
quarters :  e.g.  the  wind  chopped 
round  to  the  north  (1554).  4.  To  eat 
a  chop  (1841).  Chop  and  change,  ups 
and  downs,  vicissitudes,  changes  of 
fortune  (1759) ;  to  chop  the  whiners,  to 




say  prayers  :  FT.,  manger  sa  paillasse. 
See  First  chop,  Second  chop. 

Chop-chop.  Immediately, 

Chopper.  1.  A  blow,  struck  on  the 
face  with  the  back  of  the  hand.  Men- 
doza  claims  the  honour  of  its  inven- 
tion, but  unjustly ;  he  certainly  re- 
vived, and  considerably  improved  it. 
It  was  practised  long  before  our  time 
— Brougham  occasionally  used  it ;  and 
Slack,  it  also  appears,  struck  the 
chopper  in  giving  the  return  in  many 
of  his  battles.  2.  A  sausage  maker. 
To  have  a  chopper  (or  button)  on,  to  be 
miserable,  down  in  the  dumps,  in  a  fit 
of  the  blues. 

Chopping.     Wanton,  forward. 

Chopping  -  block.  A  man  who 
takes  an  immense  amount  of  punish- 
ment (q.v.)  in  fight  without  the  science 
or  the  strength  to  return  it. 

Chops.  To  lick  the  chops,  to  anti- 
cipate a  matter  with  zest  or  relish 
(1655) ;  down  in  the  chops  (or  mouth), 
Bad,  melancholy  :  see  Chopper  (1830). 

Chortle.  To  chuckle,  laugh  in 
one's  sleeve,  snort.  [Introduced  by 
Lewis  Carroll  in  Through  the  Looking 

Chosen  Twelve.     See  Apostles. 

Chuck-farthing  (Chuck,  Chuck- 
and  -  toss,  or  Pitch  -  and  -  toss).  A 
game  played  with  money,  which  is 
pitched  at  a  line,  gathered,  shaken  in 
the  hands,  and  tossed  up  into  the  air  so 
as  to  fall  heads  and  tails  until  the 
stakes  are  guessed  away :  a  parish 
clerk  was  formerly  named  chuck-far- 
thing (1690). 

Chucking-out.     Ejection. 

Chucks.  A  boy's  signal  on  a 
master's  approach.  Fr.,  Vesse  I 

Chuff  it.     Be  off  !  Take  it  away  ! 

Chum.  1.  A  close  companion,  a 
bosom  friend,  intimate.  Formerly  a 
chamber-fellow  or  mate.  [Johnson  : 
a  term  used  in  the  Universities.] 
(1684).  English  synonyms:  gossip, 
pal,  pard  (American),  marrow  (north- 
country),  cully  (theatrical),  cummer, 
ben  cull,  butty,  bo'  (nautical),  mate  or 
matey,  ribstone,  bloater.  2.  A 
brother-in-arms.  As  verb,  to  occupy  a 
joint  lodging,  or  share  expenses,  on 
the  closest  terms  of  intimacy  with 
another,  to  be  '  thick  as  thieves,'  or 
'  thick  as  hops ' :  Fr.,  etre  dans  la 
chemise  de  quelqu'un,  du  dernier  bien 
avec  quelqu'un  (1730).  New  chum, 

a  new  arrival  in  a  colony,  greenhorn, 
tenderfoot  (q.v.)  (1861). 

Chummage.  Money  procured  by 
chumming  together ;  but  various  ex- 
tensions of  meaning  appear  to  have 
been  in  vogue  at  different  periods. 
Thus  (1)  quartering  two  or  more 
collegians  in  one  room,  and  allowing 
the  richest  to  pay  his  companions  a 
stipulated  sum  to  go  out  and  find 
quarters  elsewhere.  (2)  Money  paid 
by  the  richer  sort  of  prisoners  in  the 
Fleet  and  King's  Bench  to  the  poorer 
for  their  share  of  a  room  ...  A 
prisoner  who  can  pay  for  being  alone, 
chooses  two  poor  chums,  who  for  a 
stipulated  price,  called  chummage,  give 
up  their  share  of  the  room  (Grose). 

Chummery.  Chumhood ;  also 
quarters  occupied  by  chums. 

Chummy.  1.  A  chimney-sweep's 
climbing  boy.  [A  corruption  of 
chimney  through  chumley]  (1635). 

2.  A    diminutive     form     of     chum 
(q.v.)     3.   A  low-crowned  felt    hat: 
see    Golgotha.      As    adj.,    very    inti- 
mate, friendly,  sociable  :  Fr.,  chouette, 
chouettard,  chouettaud. 

Chump.  1.  A  blockhead.  2.  A 
variant  of  chum  :  Fr.,  vieitte  branche. 

3.  The  head  :  spec,  in  the  phrase  off 
one's    chump    (q.v.) :    see    Crumpet. 
Chump  of  wood,  no  good  :  also  a  block- 
head ;  off  one's  chump,  insane  ;  to  get 
one's  own  chump,  to  earn  one's  own 

Chunk.  1.  A  thick  piece,  lump  : 
of  wood,  bread,  coaL  etc.  (1691).  2. 
school-board  officer. 

Church.  To  take  out  the  works  of 
a  watch  and  substitute  another  set,  so 
that  identification  is  impossible  ( 1859). 
To  talk  church  :  see  Talk  ;  to  talk  shop, 
see  Shop ;  to  go  to  church,  to  get  married. 

Churchwarden.  A  clay  pipe  with 
a  long  stem.  English  synonyms, 
alderman,  steamer,  yard  of  clay. 

Churl.  To  put  a  churl  upon  a 
gentleman :  see  Gentleman. 

Cider.  Att  talk  and  no  cider,  pur- 
poseless loquacity,  much  cry  and  little 
wool,  much  ado  about  nothing. 

Cider-and.  Cider  mixed  with  some 
other  ingredient :  cf.  cold  without, 
hot  with,  etc.  (1742). 

Cig.     A  cigar  :  see  Weed. 

Cinch.  To  get  a  grip  on,  corner, 
put  the  screw  on  :  also,  in  the  passive 
sense,  to  come  out  on  the  wrong  side 
in  speculations. 




Cincinnati-  olive.  A  pig.  [A 
spurious  olive  oil  is  manufactured 
from  lard,  and  Cincinnati  is  one  of  the 
largest  centres  of  the  pork  -  packing 
industry  in  America.]  Cincinnati 
oyster,  a  pig's  trotter. 

Cinder.  1.  Any  strong  liquor,  as 
brandy,  whisky,  sherry,  etc.,  mixed 
with  a  weaker,  as  soda-water,  lemon- 
ade, water,  etc.,  to  fortify  it.  2.  A 
running  path  or  track. 

Cinder  -  gar  bier.  A  female  ser- 
vant (Grose).  English  synonyms :  mar- 
chioness, slavey,  cinder-grabber,  cin- 
derella,  can  (Scots),  piss-kitchen,  Julia. 

Circle.  To  give  the  lie  in  circle,  to 
lie  indirectly,  circuitous! y  (1610). 

Circling- boy.  A  swindler,  rook. 
[Nares  :  a  species  of  roarer  ;  one  who 
in  some  way  drew  a  man  into  a  snare, 
to  cheat  or  rob  him.] 

Circs.     Circumstances. 

Circumbendibus.  A  roundabout, 
spec,  a  long-winded,  story  (1681). 

Circumlocution  -  office.  A  centre 
of  red-tape,  a  roundabout  way.  A 
term  invented  by  Charles  Dickens  and 
applied  at  first  in  ridicule  to  public 
offices,  where  everybody  tries  to 
shuffle  off  his  responsibilities  upon 
some  one  else.] 

Circumslogdologize.  See  Stock- 

Circumstance.  Not  a  circum- 
stance, etc.,  not  to  be  compared  with, 
a  trifle,  of  no  account — unfavourable 
comparison.  To  whip  [something] 
into  a  circumstance,  to  surpass. 

Circus- cuss.     A  circus-rider. 

Citizen.  A  wedge  for  prising 
open  safes  :  used  before  the  alderman 
(q.v.)  or  jemmy  (q.v.)  are  brought 
into  play.  Whence  citizen's- friend,  a 
smaller  wedge  than  the  citizen.  The 
order  in  which  the  tools  are  used  is 
(1)  citizen's  friend,  (2)  citizen,  (3)  the 
alderman  (i.e.  a  jemmy),  and  some- 
times (4)  a  Lord  mayor. 

City  College.  Newgate  ;  in  New 
York,  The  Tombs  :  see  Cage. 

City-stage.  The  gallows :  for- 
merly in  front  of  Newgate  :  see  Nub- 
bing  cheat. 

Civil  Reception.  See  House  of 
Civil  Reception. 

Civil-rig.  A  trick  to  obtain  alms 
by  a  profuse  show  of  civility  and 

Civvies.  Civilian  clothes,  as 
opposed  to  regimentals. 

Clack.  1.  Idle  or  loquacious  talk, 
gossip,  prattle  (1440).  As  verb,  to 
gabble.  2.  The  tongue.  A  more 
ancient  form  was  clap,  dating  back  to 
1225.  English  synonyms:  glib,  red- 
rag,  clapper,  bubber,  velvet,  jibb, 
quail  -  pipe.  Hence,  clack  -  box,  (1) 
the  mouth :  see  Potato-trap.  (2)  A 

Clack-loft     A  pulpit 

Claim.  To  steal :  see  Prig.  To 
jump  a  claim,  to  take  forcible  posses- 
sion, to  defraud  :  specifically  to  seize 
land  which  had  been  taken  up  and 
occupied  by  another  settler,  or  squat- 
ter (1846). 

Clam.  1.  A  blockhead  :  cf.  Shakes- 
peare (Much  Ado,  ii.  iii.),  'Love  may 
transform  me  to  an  oyster ;  but  I'll 
take  my  oath  on  it,  till  he  hath  made 
an  oyster  of  me,  he  shall  never  make 
me  such  a  fool.'  2.  The  mouth  or 
lips  :  also  clam-shell :  Shut  your  clam- 
shell, shut  your  mouth.  The  padlock 
now  used  on  the  United  States  mail- 
bags  is  called  the  clam-shell  padlock. 
See  Potato-trap.  (1825). 

Clam- butcher.  A  man  who  opens 
clams  ;  the  attendant  at  an  oyster  bar 
is  an  Oyster  butcher. 

Clink.  A  pewter  tankard  :  for- 
merly a  silver  one  (1785). 

Clinker.  1.  A  great  lie  (Grose): 
see  Whopper.  2.  Silver  plate  :  whence 
clink-napper,  a  thief  whose  speciality 
was  silver  plate. 

Clap  (or  Clapper).  1.  The 
tongue  ( 1225).  2.  To  dap  eyes  on,  to  get 
a  sight  of,  spot  (q.v.) ;  to  clap  on,  to 
apply  oneself  with  energy,  set  to,  peg 

Clapper  -  dudgeon.  A  whining 
beggar  (1567). 

Clap-of-thunder.  A  glass  of  gin  : 
see  Flash  of  lightning  (1821). 

Clap-shoulder.  A  sheriffs  officer, 
bum-bailiff  (1630). 

Claras.  Caledonian  Railway  De- 
ferred and  Ordinary  Stock. 

Claret  Blood  :  variants  are  bad- 
minton, bordeaux,  and  cochineal-dye : 
FT.,  vermeil  (or  vermois)  (1604).  To 
tap  one's  claret,  to  draw  blood.  Hence, 
claret  jug,  the  nose. 

Clarian  (Cambridge  University). 
A  member  of  Clare  Hall,  Cambridge  : 
see  Greyhound. 

Class.  The  highest  quality  or  com- 
bination of  highest  qualities  among 
athletes.  He's  not  class  enough,  i.e. 




not  good  enough.  There's  a  deal  of 
class  about  him,  i.e.  a  deal  of  quality. 

Claw.  A  lash  of  the  cat-o'-nine- 
tails :  hence  clawed  off,  severely  beaten ; 
daws  for  breakfast,  a  bout  of  the  cat 

Claw-hammer.  A  dress  coat :  also 
steel-pen  coat  and  swallow-tail. 

Clay.  A  clay  pipe :  cf.  Yard  of 
clay.  To  moisten  (soak  or  wet)  one's 
day,  to  drink  (1718). 

Clean.  1.  Entirely,  altogether,  e.g. 
clean  gone,  clean  broke,  etc.  2.  Expert, 
smart.  To  dean  out,  to  exhaust,  strip, 
rack,  or  ruin  :  Fr.,  se  faire  lessiver. 

Clean  -  potato.  The  right  thing  : 
of  an  action  indiscreet  or  dishonest,  it 
is  said  that  It's  not  the  clean  potato. 

Clean-straw  (Winchester  College). 
Clean  sheets.  [Before  1540  the  beds 
were  bundles  of  straw  on  a  stone  floor. 
At  that  date  Dean  Fleshmonger  put 
in  oaken  floors,  and  provided  proper 
beds,  such  as  existed  in  1871  in  Third, 
and  later  in  the  case  of  the  Prefect  of 
Hall's  unused  beds  in  Sixth.  The 
term  has  never  been  used  in  reference 
to  mattresses  of  any  kind,  straw  or 

Clean- wheat.  Ifs  the  dean  wheat, 
i.e.  the  best  of  its  kind  :  see  Al. 

Clear.  (1)  Thick  with  liquor.  [Ap- 
parently on  the  lucus  a  non  lucendo 
principle.]  (1688).  Clear  as  mud, 
not  particularly  lucid  ;  to  dear  out  (or 
off),  to  depart  (1825) ;  (2)  to  rid  of 
cash,  ruin,  clean  out  (1849). 

Clear  -  crystal.  White  spirits,  as 
gin  and  whisky,  but  also  extended  to 
brandy  and  rum. 

Clear-grit.  1.  (Canadian).  A 
member  of  the  colonial  Liberal  party. 
2.  (American).  The  right  sort,  having 
no  lack  of  spirit,  unalloyed,  decided. 

Cleave.     To  wanton. 

Clegg.     A  horse-fly. 

Clencher.     See  Clincher. 

Clergyman.  A  chimney  -  sweep : 
see  Chimney-sweep.  St.  Nicholas'  derk 
(or  dergyman),  a  highwayman  (1589). 

Clerked.  Imposed  upon,  sold 
(q.v.)  (1785). 

Clerk's  blood.  Red  ink :  a  com- 
mon expression  of  Charles  Lamb's. 

Clever-shins.  One  who  is  sly  to 
no  purpose. 

Cleyme.  An  artificial  sore  :  made 
by  beggars  to  excite  charity. 

Click.  A  blow :  also  a  hold  in 
wrestling  (1819).  As  verb,  to  stand 

at  a  shop-door  and  invite  customers 
in,  as  salesmen  and  shoemakers  do 
(Dycke).  To  dick  a  nab,  to  snatch 
a  hat. 

Clicker  (or  Klicker).  1.  A  shop- 
keeper's tout.  [Formerly  a  shoe- 
maker's doorsman  or  barker  (q.v.), 
but  in  this  particular  trade  the  term 
is  nowadays  appropriated  to  a  fore- 
man who  cuts  out  leather  and  dis- 
penses materials  to  workpeople ;  a 
sense  not  altogether  wanting  from 
the  very  first]  (1690).  2.  A  knock- 
down blow.  3.  One  who  apportions 
the  booty  or  '  regulars.' 

Clift.     To  steal :  see  Prig. 

Climb.  To  dimb  down,  to  abandon 
a  position  :  as  subs.,  downward  or  re- 
trograde emotion,  the  act  of  surrender. 

Clinching.  A  prison  cell :  hence  to 
get  (or  kiss)  the  dinch  (or  dink),  to  be 

Clincher  (or  Clencher).  1.  That 
which  decides  a  matter :  spec,  a 
retort  which  closes  an  argument,  a 
finisher,  settler,  corker  (1754).  2. 
An  unsurpassed  lie,  stopper-up :  see 

Cling-rig.     See  Clink-rig. 

Clink.  1.  A  prison,  lock-up ;  spec, 
applied,  it  is  thought,  to  a  noted  gaol 
in  the  borough  of  Southwark  ;  subse- 
quently to  places — like  Alsatia,  the 
Mint,  etc. — privileged  from  arrests  ; 
and  latterly,  to  a  small  dismal  prison, 
or  a  military  guard  room  (1525) :  see 
Cage.  2.  Silver  plate :  also  Clinch 
(1781).  3.  Money:  cf.  Chink  (1724). 
4.  A  very  indifferent  beer  made  from 
the  gyle  of  malt  and  the  sweepings  of 
hop  bins,  and  brewed  especially  for  the 
benefit  of  agricultural  labourers  in 
harvest  time  :  also  barn  -  clink.  To 
kiss  the  dink,  to  be  imprisoned 

Clinker.  1.  In  pi.,  fetters  (1690). 
2.  A  crafty,  designing  man  (1690).  3. 
A  chain  of  any  kind  :  fetter  or  watch 
chain.  4.  A  well  -  delivered  blow,  a 
hot-'un.  5.  Any  thing  or  person  of 
first  -  rate  and  triumphant  quality  : 
also  clincher,  a  settler  (1733).  6.  A 
lie  :  see  Whooper. 

Clinkerum.     See  Clink. 

Clinking.  First-rate,  extra  good, 
about  the  best  possible  :  cf.  clipping, 
thumping,  whooping,  rattling,  etc. 

Clink-rig  (or  Cling-rig).  Stealing 
silver  tankards  (1681). 

Clip.     A  smart  blow :  e.g.  a  clip 




in  the  eye.  As  verb,  to  move  quickly 

Clipe.  To  tell  tales,  split,  to 
preach  (q.v.). 

Clipper.  A  triumph  in  horses, 
men,  or  women  (1836). 

Clipping  (or  Clippingly).  Excel- 
lent, very  showy,  first-rate.  See  Al. 

Cloak.     A  watch  case. 

Cloak-twitcher.  A  cloak  thief :  Fr., 
tirelaine  (i.e.  wool-puller) :  see  Thief. 

Clobber.  Primarily  old,  but  now 
applied  to  clothes  of  any  kind.  As 
verb  (or  to  clobber  up)  (1)  to  patch, 
revive,  or  '  translate '  clothes.  Old 
clothes  that  are  intended  to  remain  in 
this  country  have  to  be  tutored  and 
transformed.  The  clobberer,  the  re- 
viver, and  the  translator  lay  hands 
upon  them.  The  duty  of  the  clob- 
berer is  to  patch,  to  sew  up,  and  to 
restore  as  far  as  possible  the  gar- 
ments to  their  pristine  appearance.  (2) 
To  dress  smartly,  rig  oneself  out  pre- 
sentably  (1879).  To  do  clobber  at  a 
fence,  to  sell  stolen  clothes  :  Fr.,  laver 
let  harnais. 

Clock.  A  watch.  A  red  dock, 
a  gold  watch ;  a  while  clock,  a  silver 
watch :  usually  red  'un  and  white 
'un.  To  know  who? a  o'clock,  to  be  on 
the  alert,  in  full  possession  of  one's 
senses,  a  downey  cove :  generally 
knowing  (q.v.).  Also  to  know  the 
timeo'  day  (1835). 

Clod-crusher.  1.  A  clumsy  boot. 
2.  A  large  foot.  3.  A  country  yokel : 
see  Clodhopper. 

Cloister  -  roush  (Winchester  Col- 
lege :  obsolete).  There  were  some 
singular  customs  at  the  commence- 
ment of  Cloister  time.  Senior  part 
and  Cloisters,  just  before  the  entrance 
of  the  Masters  into  School,  used 
to  engage  in  a  kind  of  general 
tournament ;  this  was  called  Cloister 

Clootie.    The  DeviL 

Cloots.     Hooves  (1786). 

Close.  Close  as  toax,  miserly, 
niggardly,  secretive. 

Close  -  file.  A  person  secretive  or 
close ;  not  open,  or  communica- 

Cloth.  The  cloth,  generic  for 
clergymen,  also  the  members  of  any 
particular  profession. 

Clothes-line.      Able  to  sleep  upon 

a  clothes -line,  capable  of  sleeping  any- 
where or  in  any  position  :  of  those 
able  and  willing  to  rest  as  well  upon 
the  roughest  shake  -  down  as  upon 
the  most  comfortable  bed.  [Cf.  Two- 
penny-rope and  Plank-bed.]  Also 
in  a  transferred  sense,  a  synonym  for 
general  capacity  and  ability. 

Clothes  -  pin.  That's  the  sort  of 
clothes-pin  I  am,  that's  the  sort  of 
man  I  am  :  also  of  women  :  That's  the 
tort  of  hair-pin  (q.v.). 

Cloth-market.  A  bed  :  FT.,  haUe, 
aux  drops  (1710). 

Cloud.     See  Blow  a  cloud. 

Cloud-cleaner.  An  imaginary  sail 
jokingly  assumed  to  be  carried  by 
Yankee  ships  :  cf.  Angel's  footstool 

Clout.  1.  A  blow,  a  kick,  whence 
clouting,  a  beating,  basting,  tanning 
(q.v.) :  see  Bang,  Dig,  and  Wipe  (1783). 
2.  A  pocket-handkerchief  (1621).  3. 
A  woman's  under-clothes,  from  the 
waist  downwards :  also  her  complete 
wardrobe,  on  or  off  her  person.  4.  A 
woman's  '  bandage,'  diaper,'  or 
'  sanitary.'  As  verb,  ( 1)  to  strike :  Fr., 
jeter  une  mandole  (1576) ;  (2)  to  patch, 

Clouter.  A  pickpocket :  spec,  a 
handkerchief  thief.  Also  as  verb,  to 
prig  a  wipe  (q.v.). 

Clover.  In  clover,  well-off,  com- 
fortable, like  a  horse  at  grass  in  a 
clover  field. 

Clow  (Winchester  College).  Pro- 
nounced do  :  a  box  on  the  ear.  Also  as 
verb,  to  box  the  ear  :  it  was  customary 
to  preface  the  actiou  by  an  injunction 
to  Hold  down. 

Clowe.     A  rogue  (Grose). 

Cloy  (Cligh,  or  Cly).  To  steal: 
see  Prig  (1610).  As  subs.,  a  thief  :  cf. 
Clow.  Cloying,  stealing. 

Cloyer.  A  thief  who  intruded  on 
the  profits  of  young  sharpers,  by 
claiming  a  share  (1611). 

Club.  In  manoeuvring  troops,  so 
to  blunder  the  word  of  command  that 
the  soldiers  get  into  a  position  from 
which  they  cannot  extricate  them- 
selves by  ordinary  tactics. 

Clump.  A  blow  :  spec,  a  thumper 
with  the  hand.  As  verb,  to  strike, 
give  a  heavy  blow  t  Fr.,  faire  du  bi fleck. 

dumper.  1.  A  thick,  heavy  boot 
for  walking :  see  Clump,  verb,  and 
Clumping.  2.  One  that  clumps,  a 

Clumperton.    A  countryman. 




Clumping.  Walking  heavily  and 
noisily  :  as  in  hobnails  or  in  clogs. 

C 1  y.  LA  pocket,  purse,  sack,  or 
basket  (1714).  2.  Money :  old  cant 
(1748).  As  verb,  to  take,  have,  re- 
ceive, pocket,  to  cop  (q.v.)  (1567). 
To  dy  off,  to  carry  off  :  spec,  in  a  sur- 
reptitious manner  (1656).  To  dy  the 
jerk  (or  gerke),  to  get  a  whipping  ( 1567). 

Cly-faker.  A  pickpocket :  see  Cly 
and  Fake. 

Clyster-  pipe.  An  apothecary 

Co.  1.  A  man  (Old  Cant).  2. 
Short  for  Company,  County. 

Coach.  1.  A  private  tutor  ;  also 
in  a  transferred  sense  one  who  trains 
another  in  mental  or  physical  ac- 
quirements, e.g.  in  Sanskrit,  Shakes- 
peare, cricket,  or  rowing :  analogous 
terms  are  crammer,  feeder,  grinder, 
etc.  (1850).  Also  as  verb,  to  prepare 
for  an  examination  by  private  instruc- 
tion, to  train  :  in  general  use  both  by 
coacher  and  coachee  (1846).  Coach- 
ing, special  instruction,  training, 
grinding  (q.v.) :  Fr.,  barbe.  2.  The 
people  in  a  coach.  To  drive  a  coach 
and  four  (or  six)  through  an  Act  of 
Parliament,  to  make  the  law  a  dead 
letter,  take  the  law  into  one's  own 
hands  (1700). 

Coachee.  A  coachman  :  cf.  Cabby. 
See  Coach.  (1790). 

Coach  -  fellow.  A  companion, 
mate  (1598). 

Coaching.  1.  (Rugby  School).  A 
flogging :  obsolete.  2.  See  Coach.  3. 
(commercial).  Putting  up  to  pretended 
auction,  thereby  hoping  to  receive 
fancy  prices  by  fictitious  bidders. 

Coachman.     A  fly-fisher's  rod. 

Coach-wheel.  A  crown-piece,  five 
shillings :  also  (B.  E.)=2s.  6d.  :  see 
Cartwheel  (1785).  To  turn  coach 
wheels  (see  Cartwheels). 

Coach-whip.  1.  A  long  thin  strap. 
Also,  2.  in  pi.,  shreds,  tatters. 

Coal.  See  Cole.  To  take  in  one's 
coals  (or  winter  coals),  to  contract 
venereal  disease.  Precious  coal  I  an 
obsolete  exclamation  (1596) ;  to  carry 
(or  bear)  coals,  to  do  dirty  work ;  to 
haul  over  the  coals,  to  reprimand  ;  to 
carry  coals  to  Newcastle,  to  do  the 
superfluous  ;  black  as  a  coal,  as  black 
as  may  be  (1000) ;  to  heap  (cast,  etc.) 
coals  of  fire,  to  produce  remorse  by 
returning  good  for  evil  (Rom.  xli.  20) ; 
to  blow  the  coals,  to  fan  the  passions  ; 

to  blow  hot  coals,  to  rage  ;  to  stir  coals, 
to  excite  strife  ;  to  blow  at  a  cold  coal, 
to  undertake  a  hopeless  task. 

Coal  -  blower.  An  alchemist,  or 
quack :  in  contempt. 

Coal  -  box.  A  chorus  :  obviously 
'  music-hally  '  or  '  circussy  '  :  a  cross 
between  rhyming  slang  and  a  clown's 
wheeze  (q.v.)  (1809). 

Coal-  carrier.  A  low  dependant 
(1565) ;  cf.  to  carry  coals. 

Coaley.     A  coal-heaver,  or  porter. 

Coaling  (or  Coally).  Among '  pros,' 
a  coally  or  coaling  part  is  one  that  is 
acceptable  to  the  player. 

Coal-  scuttle.  A  poke  bonnet : 
once  modish,  later  reserved  for  old- 
fashioned  Quakeresses,  and  now  ob- 
solete except  with  Hallelujah  Lasses 

Coarse-account.  To  make  of  coarse 
account,  to  slight  (1579). 

Coat.  Cloth  (q.v.),  profession, 
party :  common  hi  seventeenth  cen- 
tury. See  Tread.  To  get  the  sun  into 
a  horse's  coat,  to  improve  its  condition 
by  feeding,  exercise,  etc.  ;  a  trainer's 
term,  to  express  fitness.  Phrases,  etc. : 
To  baste  (coil,  or  pay)  one's  coat,  to 
thrash,  tan  (1530) ;  to  be  in  any  one's 
coat,  in  any  one's  place,  stand  in  one's 
shoes  (1569) ;  to  cut  the  coat  according 
to  the  doth,  to  adapt  oneself  to  circum- 
stances ;  to  turn  one's  coat :  see  Turn- 
coat ;  to  wear  the  king's  coat,  to  serve 
as  a  soldier.  To  sit  on  one's  own  coat- 
tail,  to  live  or  do  anything  at  one's  per- 
sonal expense ;  Who'll  tread  on  the 
tail  of  my  coat  ?  (attributed  to  Irishmen 
at  Donnybrook  Fair),  to  purposely 
assume  a  position  in  which  some  one 
may  intentionally  or  unintentionally 
afford  a  pretext  for  a  quarrel,  provoke 
attack  so  as  to  get  up  a  row  ;  /  would 
not  be  in  some  of  (heir  coats  for  (any 
definite  or  indefinite  sum),  proverbial : 
cf.  (modern)  I  would  not  stand  in 
So-and-so's  shoes  (1549) ;  Near  is  my 
coat,  but  nearer  is  my  shirt  (or  skin), 
proverbial  (1539). 

Coax.  1.  To  dissemble  in  the 
shoes  the  soiled  or  ragged  parts  of  a 
pair  of  stockings  (Grose).  2.  Orig. 
to  befool,  whence  to  gull  by  petting, 
wheedle,  flatter.  [Johnson :  A  low 
word.]  As  subs.  (1)  a  wheedler  :  also 
coaxer ;  (2)  wheedling. 

Cob.  1.  A  punishment  cell :  see 
Clinch.  2.  In  pi.,  generic  for  money: 
spec,  a  Spanish  coin  formerly  current 



in  Ireland,  worth  about  4s.  8d :  also 
the  name  still  given  at  Gibraltar  to  a 
Spanish  dollar  (1805).  3.  (Winchester 
College).  A  hard  hit  at  cricket :  of 
modern  introduction :  cf.  Barter.  4. 
A  chief,  a  leader.  5.  A  wealthy  man  : 
hence  a  miser.  6.  A  huge  lumpish 
person.  7.  A  testicle.  As  verb,  ( 1 )  to 
hit  hard:  cf.  Cobb ;  (2)  To  detect, 
catch,  etc.  (3)  To  humbug,  deceive, 
gammon  (q.v.) :  whence,  cobbled, 
caught,  spotted  (q.v.). 

Cobb.  To  spank,  smack  the  pos- 
teriors with  (say)  a  tailor's  sleeve- 
board,  fives- bat,  etc.  (1830). 

Cobber.  A  prodigious  falsehood, 
a  thumper,  a  whopper  (q.v.). 

Cobble  -  colter.  A  turkey  :  Fr., 
orne  de  batte,  J (suite  (1785). 

Cobblcrs'-knock  (or  Knock  at  the 
Cobbler's  Door).  A  sort  of  fancy 
sliding  in  which  the  artist  raps  the 
ice  in  triplets  with  one  foot  while  pro- 
gressing swiftly  on  the  other  (1836). 

Co  b  biers' -marbles.  A  corrupt 
pronunciation  of  Cholera  morbus,  or 
Asiatic  cholera. 

Cobbler's-thumb.  The  bull-head,  a 
small  fish  which  in  England  is  called 
the  Miller's  thumb. 

Cobble-text.  A  prosy  person, 
ignorant  preacher. 

Coblative.     Cobbled,  patched  up. 

Cobweb-morning.  A  misty  morn- 

Cobweb  -  throat.  A  dry  parched 
throat,  hence  to  have  a  cobweb  in  the 
throat,  to  feel  thirsty. 

Cocard.  An  old  fool,  a  simple- 
ton. Cocardy,  folly. 

Cochineal-dye.  Blood :  see 
Claret  (1853). 

Cock.  1.  A  chief  or  leader ;  spec, 
in  such  phrases  as  Cock  of  the  walk, 
school,  etc.  ;  orig.  a  victor  (1711). 
Hence,  to  cry  cock,  to  acclaim  a  victor, 
acknowledge  a  chief,  etc.  2.  A  familiar 
address :  e.g.  Old  cock,  or  Jolly  old 
cock:  Fr.,  mon  vieux  zig,  mon  lapin 
( 1 639).  3.  A  horse  not  intended  to  win 
the  race  for  which  it  is  put  down,  but 
kept  in  the  lists  to  deceive  the  public. 
4.  A  fictitious  narrative  in  verse  or 
prose  of  murders,  fires,  etc.,  produced 
for  sale  in  the  streets.  [Famous 
manufactories  of  cocks  were  kept  by 
'  Jemmy  '  Catnach  and  Johnny  Pitts, 
called  the  Colburn  and  Bentley  of 
the  paper  trade :  hence  anything 
fictitious  or  incredible.]  6.  Cockney 

(q.v.).  6.  In  gambling  or  playing 
with  '  quads,'  a  cock  is  when  one  (or 
more)  of  the  nine  pieces  does  not  fall 
flat,  but  lodges  crosswise  on  another : 
the  player  is  then  given  another 
chance.  7.  A  night  watchman,  and  fig. 
a  parson.  8.  Good  cock  (or  poor  cock), 
a  good  (or  bad)  workman.  As  adj., 
chief,  first  and  foremost  (1676).  As 
verb,  to  smoke.  To  cock  the  eye,  to 
shut  or  wink  one  eye,  leer,  look  in- 
credulous :  Fr.,  cligner  desceUlets:  cf. 
Cock-eyed  :  also  to  cock  the  chin  :  Fr., 
a'aborgner  (literally,  to  make  oneself 
blind  of  one  eye  by  closing  it)  (1751) ; 
to  cock  up  one's  toes,  to  die  ;  That  cock 
won't  light,  that  will  not  do  (or,  go 
down) ;  of  things  problematical  or 
doubtful ;  knocked  a  •  cock,  knocked 
'  all  of  a  heap,'  or '  out  of  time.'  Also 
proverbs  and  proverbial  phrases : 
Every  cock  is  king  on  his  own  midden 
(1225);  The  young  cock  learneth  to 
crow  of  the  old  (1509) :  also,  as  the  old 
cock  crows  so  does  the  chick  (1589). 

Cock-a-doodle-do.  A  conventional 
representation  of  the  crow  of  the  cock  ; 
a  name  for  this,  and  hence,  a  nursery 
or  humorous  name  for  the  cock  (also 
Cock-a-doodle).  Also  as  verb. 

Cock-a-doodle  Broth.  Eggs  beat 
up  in  brandy  and  a  little  water  (1856). 

Cock-a-hoop  (or  Cock -on,  or 
-in)  a-hoop.  Strutting ;  triumphant ; 
high  -  spirited  ;  uppish.  To  set  (the) 
cock  on  (the)  hoop,  cock  a  hoop,  (1)  to 
drink  without  stint,  make  good  cheer 
with  reckless  prodigality  ;  also  (2)  as 
intj.,  an  exclamation  of  reckless  joy 
or  elation,  to  abandon  oneself  to  reck- 
less enjoyment,  cast  off  restraint, 
become  reckless,  give  a  loose  to  all 
disorder,  set  all  by  the  ears. 

Cockalare.  A  comic  or  ludicrous 
representation,  a  satire  lampoon,  a 
disconnected  story,  discourse,  etc. 

Cockaloft.  Affectedly  lofty, 
stuck  up. 

Cockall.  One  that  beats  all,  the 
'  perfection.' 

Cockalorum  or    Cockylorum. 

1.  A  contemptuous  address  of  any- 
thing undersized  and  self-important. 

2.  A  rough  -  and  -  tumble  game  :   the 
players  divide  into  two  opposing  bands 
of  from  twelve  to  fourteen  each — in 
fact,  the  more  the  merrier.     One  side 
'  goes  down,'  so  as  to  constitute  a  long 
'  hogsback ' — the   last  boy  having  a 
couple  of  pillows  between  himself  and 




the  wall,  and  each  boy  clasping  his 
front-rank  man,  and  carefully  tucking 
his  own  '  cocoa-nut '  under  his  right 
arm,  so  as  to  prevent  fracture  of  the 
vertebrae.  When  the  hogsback  is  thus 
formed,  the  other  side  comes  on,  leap- 
frogging on  to  the  backs  of  those  who 
are  down,  the  best  and  steadiest 
jumpers  being  sent  first.  Sometimes 
the  passive  line  is  broken  quite  easily 
by  the  ruse  of  a  short  high  jump, 
coming  with  irresistible  impulse  on  a 
back  not  expecting  weight.  Some- 
times a  too  ambitious  leap-frogger 
ruins  his  party  by  overbalancing  and 
falling  off.  It  is,  however,  as  the  last 
two  or  three  leap-froggers  come  on 
that  the  real  excitement  more  gener- 
ally begins.  There  is  absolutely  no 
back  -  space  belonging  to  the  other 
party  left  to  them ;  and  they  are 
obliged  to  pile  themselves  one  upon 
another — Pelion  on  Ossa,  as  it  is 
called.  When  the  last  man  is  up  it  is 
his  duty  to  say,  '  High  cockalorum 
jig  Jig  jig— nigh  cockalorum  jig  jig  ijg 
— high  cockalorum  jig  jig  jig — off,  off, 
off,'  and  then  alone  is  it  permissible  to 
fall  in  one  indistinguishable  heap  to 
the  ground.  The  repeater  of  the 
shibboleth  often  falls  off  himself  as  he 
is  uttering  the  above  incantation — 
thus  losing  the  victory  for  his  side. 

Cock  -  and  -  breeches.  A  sturdy, 
under- sized  man,  or  boy. 

Cock-and-bull-story,  subs,  (collo- 
quial). An  idle  or  silly  story.  [Pre- 
sumably from  some  old  legend  of  a 
cock  and  a  bull,  a  propos  to  which  it 
should  be  noted  that  the  French 
equivalent  is  coq-d-l'dne,  a  cock-and- 
ass]  (1603).  Hence,  disconnected, 
misleading  talk,  incredible  story,  a 

Cock  -  and  -  hen  -  club,  subs,  (com- 
mon). 1.  A  free  and  easy  (q.v.),  a 
sing  -  song,  where  females  are  ad- 
mitted as  well  as  males  (1819).  2.  A 
club  for  both  sexes  ;  e.g.  the  Lyric. 

Cock-and- pinch.  The  old-fashioned 
beaver  of  forty  years  since. 

Cockapert.  Impudent,  saucy.  As 
subs.,  a  saucy  fellow. 

Cockatoo  -  farmer  (or  Cockatoo). 
In  Victoria  and  New  South  Wales  a 
small  farmer  or  selector  :  in  contempt, 
and  used  by  large  holders  of  agri- 
cultural squatters  with  small  capital 

Cockatrice.      1.   A   common  pro- 

stitute ;  also  a  mistress  or  '  keep ' 
(1600).  2.  A  baby. 

Cock-a-wax.  1.  A  cobbler :  see 
Snob.  2.  A  familiar  address. 

Cock-  bawd.  A  male  brothel  keeper 

Cock-brain.  A  lighthearted, 
foolish  person.  Also  cock  -  brained, 
thoughtless,  silly. 

Cockchafer.  The  treadmill :  see 
Wheel  of  life. 

Cocked.  Half  -  cocked,  full-cocked, 
etc.  Various  degrees  of  drunken- 
ness :  see  Screwed. 

Cocked-hat.  Knocked  into  a 
cocked  hat.  Limp  enough  to  be 
doubled  up  and  carried  flat  under  the 
arm  [like  the  cocked  hat  of  an  officer]. 
Also,  fig.  stupefied,  speechless.  Syno- 
nyms :  doubled  up  ;  knocked  into  the 
middle  of  next  week ;  spifflicated ; 
beaten  to  a  jelly ;  knocked  a-cock ; 
wiped  out ;  sent  all  of  a  heap  ;  bottled 
up ;  settled  ;  full  of  beans,  or  snuff  ; 
sent,  done,  or  smashed  to  smithereens. 

Cocker.  A  pugilist,  quarrel- 
some, contentious  man,  wrangler. 
According  to  Cocker,  according  to  rule  ; 
properly,  arithmetically,  or  correctly 
done.  [Old  Cocker  was  a  famous 
writing  master  in  Charles  II. 's  time, 
and  the  author  of  a  treatise  on 
arithmetic  :  probably  popularised  by 
Murphy's  The  Apprentice  (1756),  in 
which  the  strong  point  of  the  old 
merchant  Wingate  is  his  extreme 
reverence  for  Cocker  and  his  arith- 
metic.] In  America,  according  to 
Gunter  (q.v.). 

Cockerel.     A  pert  young  man. 

Cockerer.     A  wanton. 

Cock-eye.  A  squinting  eye.  Cock- 
eyed, squinting,  boss-eyed  (q.v.). 

Cock-fighting.  That  beats  cock- 
fighting,  phr.  (common).  A  general 
expression  of  approval — up  to  the 
mark  ;  Al  ;  That  surpasses  everything 
else.  [From  the  esteem  in  which  the 
sport  was  held.]  (1659).  To  live 
like  fighting-cocks,  to  have  the  best 
food  and  plenty  of  it,  be  supplied  with 
the  best. 

Cock-horse.  Triumphant;  in  full 
swing ;  cock-a-hoop. 

Cock-laird  (Scots).  A  small 
farmer  or  proprietor  cultivating  his 
own  land,  a  yeoman. 

Cockle.  Whimsical.  Hence, 
cockle-brained  (headed,  etc.),  flighty, 
fanciful,  whimmy. 


Cockles  of  the  Heart. 


Cockles  of  the  Heart.  A  jocose 
vulgarism  encountered  in  a  variety  of 
combinations ;  e.g.  that  will  rejoice, 
or  tickle,  or  warm,  the  cockles  of  your 
heart,  etc.  [It  is  suggested  (N.  and  Q. , 
7  8.,  iv.  26)  that  a  hint  as  to  its  origin 
may  be  found  in  Lower,  an  eminent 
anatomist  of  the  seventeenth  century, 
who  thus  speaks  in  his  Tractates  de 
Corde  (1669),  p.  25,  of  the  muscular 
fibres  of  the  ventricles :  '  Fibre  quidem 
rectis  hisce  exteri  oribus  in  dextro 
ventriculo  proxime  subject*  oblique 
dextrorsum  ascendentes  in  basin  cordis 
terminantur,  et  spirali  suo  ambitu 
helicein  sive  cochleam  satis  apte 
refcrunt.'  The  ventricles  of  the 
heart  might,  therefore,  be  called 
cochlea  cordis,  and  this  would  easily 
be  turned  into  Cockles  of  the  heart.] 
Fr.,  Ifcheras  la  face  (that'll  rejoice 
the  cockles  of  your  heart)  (1671). 
To  cry  cockles,  to  be  hanged :  see 

Cockloche.  A  mean  fellow,  silly 
coxcomb:  a  generic  reproach  (1611). 

Cock-loft.  The  head:  cf.  old 
proverb,  All  his  gear  is  in  his  cock- 
loft ;  i.e.  All  his  wealth,  work,  or 
worth  is  in  his  head  (1642). 

Cock-mate.  A  familiar,  intimate, 
best  friend. 

Cockney,  subs,  (colloquial). 
One  born  within  the  sound  of  Bow- 
bells.  [The  origin  of  cockney  has 
been  much  debated ;  but,  says  Dr. 
Murray,  in  the  course  of  an  exhaustive 
statement  (Academy,  May  10,  1890, 
p.  320),  the  history  of  the  word,  so  far 
as  it  means  a  person,  is  very  clear  and 
simple.  We  have  the  senses  (1) 
'  cockered  or  pet  child,'  '  nestle-cock,' 
1  mother's  darling,'  '  milksop,'  the 
name  being  applicable  primarily  to  the 
child,  but  continued  to  the  squeamish 
and  effeminate  man  into  which  he 
grows  up.  (2)  A  nickname  applied  by 
country  people  to  the  inhabitants  of 
great  towns,  whom  they  considered 
milksops,'  from  their  daintier  habits 
and  incapacity  for  rough  work.  York, 
London,  Perugia,  were,  according  to 
Harman,  all  nests  of  cockneys.  (3) 
By  about  1600  the  name  began  to  be 
attached  especially  to  Londoners,  as 
the  representatives  par  excellence  of 
the  city  milksop.  One  understands 
the  disgust  with  which  a  cavalier 
in  1641  wrote  that  he  was  '  obliged 
to  quit  Oxford  at  the  approach 

of  Essex  and  Waller,  with  their  pro- 
digious number  of  cockneys.']  Hence, 
Cockney-shire,  London. 

Cockpecked.  Masculine  home- 
rule  :  spec,  of  a  tyrannical  kind :  cf. 

Cock  quean.  A  man  who  interest* 
himself  in  women's  affairs  :  a  common 
form  is  cotquean. 

Cock-robin.  A  soft,  easy  fellow 

Cock-robin  Shop.  A  small  printing 
office :  a  place  where  the  cheapest 
work  is  done  at  the  lowest  price :  cf. 
Slop  shop. 

Cock's  -  comb.  1.  A  cap  as  worn 
by  a  buffoon  or  professional  fool.  2. 
The  head.  3.  A  fop,  conceited  fool 

Cock's-egg.  To  send  one  for  a  cock's 
egg.  To  send  on  a  fool's  errand ; 
to  gammon  (q.v.) :  cf.  pigeon's  milk, 
oil  of  strappum,  strap  oil,  the  squad 
umbrella,  etc. 

Cock  -  shy.  1.  A  mark,  butt,  or 
target ;  any  person  or  thing  that  is 
the  centre  of  jaculation  (1834).  2.  The 
establishment  of  a  strolling  proprie- 
tor, where  sticks  may  be  thrown  at 
coconuts  or  the  like,  for  payment. 

Cocksure.  Confidently  certain ; 
arrogantly  sure.  [Probably  a  corrup- 
tion of  cocky  sure.'  Shakespeare 
(  I  Henry  IV.,  n.  L)  employs  the 
phrase  in  the  sense  of  Sure  as  the 
cock  of  a  firelock.  We  steal  as  in  a 
castle,  cocksure:  and  still  earlier 
usages  imply  its  derivation  from  the 
fact  that  the  cock  was  much  surer 
than  the  older  -  fashioned  match.] 

Cocksy.  Impudent,  bumptious, 
saucy:  cf.  Cocky. 

Cocktail.  1.  A  prostitute ;  a 
wanton.  2.  A  coward.  3.  An  up- 
start, one  aping  gentility.  4.  (Ameri- 
can). A  drink  composed  of  spirits 
(gin,  brandy,  whisky,  etc.),  bitters, 
crushed  ice,  sugar,  etc.,  the  whole 
whisked  briskly  until  foaming,  and 
then  drunk  'hot.'  As  adj.,  (1)  under- 
bred, wanting  in  'form'  (chiefly  of 
horses).  (2)  Fresh,  foaming:  of  beer 
(see  subs.  4).  (3)  (army).  Unsoldier- 
like;  anything)  unworthy  of  the 
regular  army,  e.g.  at  one  time  the 
Volunteer  auxiliaries  were  described 
as  a  cocktailed  crew. 

Cock-up  (printers').  A  superior ; 
e.g.  the  smaller  letters  in  the 
following  examples :  Yc  Limt*- 




Compy-  ;  Jno-  Smith,  Sen'-  ;  N°  ; 
London'  :  also  a  large  -  type  initial 

Cocky  (or  Cocking).  1.  Pert,  saucy, 
forward,  coolly  audacious,  over  con- 
fident, 'botty'  (1711).  2.  (Stock 
Exchange).  Brisk,  active.  As  subs, 
(old),  a  term  of  endearment :  see  also 

Cockyolly-bird.  A  nursery  endear- 
ment :  of  birds ;  cf.  dickey  -  bird, 

Cocoa-nut.  The  head  :  Fr.,  coco  : 
see  Crumpet  (1834).  That  accounts 
for  the  milk  in  the  cocoa-nut,  a  rejoinder 
upon  having  a  thing  explained.  No 
milk  in  the  cocoa  •  nut,  insane,  silly, 

Cocum  (Kocum).  1.  Shrewdness, 
ability,  luck,  cleverness.  [Yiddish.] 
2.  (publishers').  A  sliding  scale  of 

Cfit.  [Publishers  sometimes  issue 
ks  without  fixing  the  published 
price,  leaving  the  retailer  to  make 
what  he  can.]  To  fight  or  play  cocum, 
to  play  double,  be  wary,  cunning, 
artful  (1857). 

Cod.  1.  Apparently  orig.  generic 
for  a  man  :  cf.  bloke,  cove,  fellow,  etc. 
Hence  in  several  specialised  senses  : 
e.g.  2.  A  fool,  a  humbug,  an  imposi- 
tion (B.  E.),  and  as  verb,  to  hoax, 
chaff,  take  a  rise  out  of.  3.  A  pal,  or 
friend  ;  generally  prefixed  to  a  sur- 
name ;  at  Charterhouse,  a  pensioner 
(see  Thackeray,  Newcomes,  ii.  333). 
[Here  cod  probably  = '  codUn,'  an  old 
endearment.]  4.  A  purse  ;  a  cod  of 
money,  a  large  sum  of  money.  [A.S. 
cod  or  codd,  a  small  bag.] 

Coddam  (or  Coddom).  A  game 
played  three,  four,  or  more  a  side. 
The  only  '  property '  required  is  a 
coin,  a  button,  or  anything  which  can 
be  hidden  in  the  clenched  hand.  The 
principle  is  simplicity  itself — '  Guess 
whose  hand  it's  in.'  If  the  guesser 
'  brings  it  home,'  his  side  takes  the 

S'eoe,  and  the  centre  man  works  it. 
the  guess  be  wrong,  a  chalk  is  taken 
to  the  holders,  who  go  on  again. 

Codding.  Nonsense,  humbug, 
chaff :  see  Cod. 

Codger.  A  familiar  address, 
especially  old  codger,  a  curious  old 
fellow,  odd  fish,  rum  character ;  a 
precise,  and  sometimes  mean  or 
miserly  man  (1760). 

C  o  d  1  a  n  d.  Newfoundland  :  cf. 

Codling.     A  raw  youth. 

Cod- preserves.     The  Atlantic. 

Cod's-head.  A  stupid  fellow,  a  fool : 
see  Buffle  (1675). 

Cofe.     See  Cove. 

C  o  ff  e  e.  Beans.  Greased  coffee, 
pork  and  beans. 

Coffee  -  house  (or  Coffee  -  shop). 
1.  A  water-closet.  2.  In  India,  a  place 
at  which  the  residents  of  a  station 
(esp.  in  Upper  India)  meet  to  talk  over 
a  light  breakfast  of  coffee,  toast,  etc., 
at  an  earlier  hour  than  the  regular 
breakfast  of  the  day  ;  the  name  is  also 
applied  to  the  gathering,  and  so  the 
halt  of  a  regiment  for  refreshment  on 
an  early  march,  etc. 

Coffee-mill.  The  mouth  ;  a 
grinder  itself,  and  furnished  with 

Coffee-milling  Grinding  (q.v.); 
working  hard.  Also  taking  a  '  sight ' 
by  putting  the  thumb  of  one  hand  to 
the  nose  and  grinding  the  little  finger 
with  the  other,  as  if  working  an  imag- 
inary coffee  mill  (1837). 

C  o  ffi  n  s.  1.  A  piece  of  live  ooal 
thrown  out  explosively  from  a  fire,  and 
supposed  to  represent  a  coffin  and 
presage  death :  cf.  Winding-sheet, 
Thief,  etc.  2.  An  ill-found  unsea- 
worthy  vessel.  3.  In  pi.  (Stock  Ex- 
change), the  Funeral  Furnishing 
Company's  Shares.  A  nail  in  one's 
coffin :  see  Nail. 

Cog.     A  tooth. 

Coke.  Qo  and  eat  coke,  a  contemp- 
tuous retort. 

Coker.    A  lie  (Grose) :  see  Whopper. 

Colchester-clock.     A  large  oyster. 

Cold.  To  leave  out  in  the  cold,  to 
neglect,  shut  out,  abandon. 

Cold- blood.  A  house  licensed  for 
the  sale  of  beer,  not  to  be  drunk  on 
the  premises. 

Cold-coffee.  1.  A  sell,  hoax, 
trumpery  affair.  2.  Misfortune,  ill- 
luck  :  also  cold  gruel ;  to  have  one's 
comb  cut,  to  experience  a  run  of  ill- 
luck  :  Fr.,  etre  abonne  au  guignon.  3. 
A  snub  for  proffered  kindness. 

Cold- comfort.  An  article  sent  out 
on  approval  and  returned. 

Cold-cook.  An  undertaker. 
English  synonyms :  carrion  hunter, 
body  snatcher,  death  hunter,  black 
worker  (see  Black  work).  Hence, 
cold-cookshop,  an  undertaker's  work- 
shop. Cold  meat,  a  corpse :  cf. 
pickles  (q.v.),  specimens  direct  from 




the  subject.  To  make  cold  meat  of  one, 
to  kill.  Cold  -  meat  box,  a  coffin. 
Cold-meat  cart,  a  hearse.  Cold-meat 
train,  a  funeral  train  to  Brook  wood 
and  other  cemeteries  :  but  specifically 
a  late  night  train  to  reach  Aldershot 
in  time  for  morning  duty  :  properly 
a  goods  train,  but  a  carriage  is  attached 
which  is  known  as  the  Larky  Sub- 
altern '  :  this  particular  train  carries 
nothing  more  dreadful  than  a  portion  of 
the  beef  and  mutton  for  the  morning 
ration  to  the  troops  in  camp  ;  and,  as 
stated,  a  few  belated  officers. 

Cold-deck.  A  prepared  pack  of 
cards:  also  a  good  hand  obtained  on 
first  dealing,  and  without  drawing 
fresh  cards. 

Cold  Pig.  To  give  cold  pig,  to 
waken  a  sleeper  by  sluicing  him  with 
cold  water,  or  by  suddenly  stripping 
him  of  bed-clothes  (1818).  As  subs., 

1.  A  person  robbed  of  his  clothing. 

2.  A    corpse.     3.    The    empty    re- 
turns sent  back  by  rail  to  wholesale 

Cold  -  shivers.  The  effect  of  ill- 
ness, intense  fear,  or  violent  emotion  : 
also  cold  shake,  which  may  refer  alike 
to  a  period  of  cold  weather,  or  an 
attack  of  fever  and  ague. 

Cold  Shoulder.  Studied  coldness, 
neglect,  or  contempt  (1816). 

Cold- tea.     Brandy  (1690). 

Cold-water  Army.  The  world  of 
total  abstainers. 

Cold  -  without.  Spirits  and  cold 
water  without  sugar :  cf.  Cider  and, 
Hot  with,  etc.  (1837). 

Cole  (or  Coal).  Money :  generic :  see 
Rhino  (1671).  To  post  or  tip  the  cole, 
to  hand  over  money,  shell  or  fork 

Colfabias  (or  Colfabis).  A  Latinized 
Irish  phrase  signifying  the  closet  of 
decency,  applied  as  a  slang  term  to  a 

B'ace  of  resort  in  Trinity  College, 
ublin  (Hotten). 

C  o  1  i  a  n  d  e  r  (or  Coliander  Seeds). 
Money  :  generic  (Orose) :  see  Rhino. 

Collar.  To  seize,  appropriate, 
steal.  To  cottar  the  bun  (cake,  Ban- 
bury,  or  confectioner' a  shop),  to  be 
easily  first,  to  surpass.  Out  of  cottar, 
out  of  work,  of  cash,  training.  Con- 
versely, in  collar,  in  work,  comfort- 
able circumstances,  fit  or  in  form. 
Against  collar,  uphill,  working  against 
difficulties,  against  the  grain.  To  be 
put  to  the  pin  of  the  cottar,  to  be  driven 

to  extremities,  come  to  the  end  of 
one's  resources.  To  wear  the  cottar,  to 
be  subject  to  control  not  altogether 
to  one's  liking :  the  antithesis  of,  to 
have  the  whip  hand,  and,  to  wear  the 
breeches ;  etc. 

Collar.     See  Big  Bird. 

Collar-and-elbow.  A  peculiar  style 
of  wrestling — the  Cornwall  and  Devon 

Collar  -  day.  Hanging  day  :  also 
Wry-neck-day  (q.v.) :  Fr.,  jour  de  la 
St.  Jean  Baptiste. 

Collared.  Unable  to  play  one's 
usual  game  owing  to  temper,  funk, 
or  other  causes. 

Collared  Up.  Kept  close  to  busi- 
ness :  cf.  Out  of  collar. 

Collar-work.     Laborious  work. 

Collector.  A  highwayman  or 

College.  A  prison ;  the  inmates 
are  called  Collegians  or  Collegiates 
(q.v.) ;  Newgate  was  formerly  called 
the  City  College  (1703).  Ladies' 
College,  a  brothel :  see  Nanny-shop. 

Colleger.  A  square  cap,  a  mortar- 
board (q.v.) :  see  Golgotha. 

Collogue.  To  confer  confidenti- 
ally and  secretly,  conspire,  wheedle, 
flatter  (1596). 

Colly-molly.  Melancholy :  cf. 
Solemoncholy  and  (Dr.  Marigold's 
Prescriptions)  Lemonjolly. 

Colly-wobbles.  The  stomach- 
ache, flatulency. 

Colour.  1.  A  handkerchief  worn  as 
a  badge  by  prize-fighters  and  other 
professional  athletes.  Each  man 
chose  his  own,  and  it  was  once  a 
practice  to  sell  them  to  backers  to  be 
worn  at  the  ring-side :  see  Billy.  In 
racing  circles  the  colours  are  the 
owner's,  and  are  shown  in  the  jockeys' 
caps  and  jackets.  2.  Payment :  e.g. 
I  have  not  seen  the  colour  of  his 
money = I  have  not  received  payment 
Coloured  on  the  card,  having  the  colours 
in  which  a  jockey  is  to  ride  inserted 
on  the  card  of  the  race.  Off  colour, 
exhausted,  run  down,  seedy.  To 
colour  one's  meerschaum,  to  get  brandy- 
faced,  to  drink  one's  nose  into  a  state 
of  pimples  and  scarlet. 

Colquarron.     The  neck:  see  Scrag. 

Colt.  1.  One  new  to  the  office,  the 
exercise  of  any  art,  etc.  :  e.g.  a  pro- 
fessional cricketer  during  his  first 
season,  a  first- time  juryman,  a  thief 
in  his  novitiate.  2.  A  rope,  knotted  at 


Colt's  Tooth. 


one  end,  and  whipped  at  the  other.  3. 
A  thief's  billy  (q.v.).  4.  A  burglar's 
livery  -  stable  keeper  :  a  colt  -  man 
(Grose).  5.  An  attendant  on  a  ser- 
jeant  at  his  making.  As  verb,  (1) 
to  thrash :  colting,  a  thrashing.  (2) 
To  cause  a  person  to  stand  treat  by 
way  of  being  made  free  of  a  new 
place,  to  make  one  pay  one's  footing. 
Hence,  collage,  the  footing  paid  by 
colts  on  their  first  appearance. 

Colt's  Tooth.  To  have  a  colt  (or 
coifs  tooth),  to  be  fond  of  youthful 
pleasures ;  in  the  case  of  elderly 
persons,  to  have  juvenile  tastes  ;  to  be 
of  wanton  disposition  and  capacity. 
[In  allusion  to  a  supposed  desire  to 
shed  the  teeth  and  see  life  over  again.] 

Columbine.     A  prostitute. 

Columbus.  Failure.  A  regular 
Columbus,  an  utter  failure,  a  '  dead 
frost'  :  Fr.,  II  pleut/=the  play  is  a 

Comb.  To  comb  one's  hair,  to  take 
to  task,  scold,  keep  in  order.  Some- 
times to  thrash,  and  generally  ill-treat : 
also  to  comb  down,  to  comb  one's  noddle 
with  a  three-legged  (or  joint)  stool  ( 1593). 

Comb  -  brush.  A  lady's  maid 

Combie.  A  Combination  room, 
the  parlour  in  which  college  dons 
drink  wine  after  Hall :  also  see  Com- 

Combination.  A  woman's  under- 
garment, shift  and  drawers  in  one. 
Also  Combie,  and  (American)  Chemi- 
loon  (chemise  and  pantaloon). 

Come.  1.  To  practise,  understand, 
act  the  part  of :  cf.  Come  over  and 
Come  tricks.  2.  To  lend  :  e.g.  Has 
he  come  it  ?  To  make  drunk  come, 
to  become  intoxicated  :  see  Screwed. 
To  come  about  one,  to  circumvent :  cf. 
Come  over  and  Come  round.  To  come 
down  from  the  walls,  to  abandon  a 
position.  To  come  it,  (1)  to  proceed 
at  a  great  rate,  to  make  a  splash  and 
dash  (in  extravagance),  to  cut  a 
figure.  (2)  To  inform;  (3)  to  show 
fear ;  (4)  to  succeed  :  spec,  in  You 
can't  come  it,  i.e.  you  cannot  succeed. 
To  come  it  strong,  to  exaggerate,  lay 
it  on  thick,  carry  to  extremes.  To 
come  John  (or  Lord  Audley),  see  John 
Audley.  To  come  off,  to  happen, 
occur,  result  from  (1609).  Come  off 
the  grass  (or  the  tall  grass),  None  of  your 
airs  !  Don't  put  it  on  so  1  Don't  tell 

any  more  lies  !  Fr.,  As-tu  fini  tes 
manieres  (or  magnes)  ?  ne  fais  done 
pas  ta  Sophie,  and  ne  fais  done  pas  ton 
fendart.  To  come  out  (1)  to  make  -an 
appearance,  display  oneself,  express 
oneself  vigorously,  make  an  impress- 
sion  :  sometimes  in  an  intensified  form. 
to  come  out  strong  :  cf.  Come  it  strong 
(1637);  (2)  to  turn  out,  result:  e.g. 
How  did  it  come  out  ?  (3)  to  make  a 
first  appearance  in  society.  To  come 
out  of  the  little  end  of  the  horn,  to  fare 
badly.  To  come  over,  to  influence, 
overreach,  cheat.  To  come  the  old 
soldier  (or  any  person  or  thing)  over 
one,  to  imitate,  overbear,  wheedle, 
rule  by  an  assumption  of  authority  : 
Fr.,  essay -er  de  monter  un  bateau  d 
quelqu'un ;  or  monter  le  coup  or  un 
battage  (1713).  To  come  round,  to 
influence,  circumvent,  persuade :  cf. 
Come  over  and  come  about,  sense  1. 
To  come  the  gum  game,  to  over-reach 
by  concealment.  To  come  through  a 
side  door,  to  be  born  illegitimately. 
To  come  to  stay,  to  be  endowed  with 
permanent  qualities.  To  come  to  (or 
up  to)  time,  to  answer  the  call  of 
'  Time  !  '  after  the  thirty  seconds' 
rest  between  round  and  round,  hence 
by  analogy,  to  be  on  the  alert,  ready. 
To  come  up  smiling,  to  laugh  (or  grin) 
at  punishment ;  hence  (generally)  to 
be  superior  to  rebuff  or  disaster,  face 
defeat  without  flinching.  To  come 
up  to  the  chalk  :  see  Scratch.  To  come 
the  artful,  to  essay  to  deceive ;  To 
come  the  heavy,  to  affect  a  vastly 
superior  position  ;  To  come  the  ugly,  to 
threaten  ;  To  come  the  nob  (or  the  don), 
to  put  on  airs ;  To  come  the  lardy-dardy, 
to  dress  for  the  public  and  '  look  up  to 
your  clobber  ' ;  To  come  the  serjeant, 
to  issue  peremptory  orders ;  To  come 
the  spoon,  to  make  love ;  To  come  the 
gipsy,  to  try  to  defraud  ;  To  come  the 
Rothschild  to  pretend  to  be  rich  ;  and 
To  come  the  Traviata  (prostitutes,  now 
obsolete),  to  feign  consumption,  to  put 
on  '  the  Traviata  cough  '  (q-v.)  with 
a  view  to  beguiling  charitable  males. 
Come-down.  A  fall,  whether  of 
pride  or  worldly  prospects,  an  aban- 
donment of  something  for  something 
else  of  less  value  or  moment.  As  verb, 
used  either  independently  or  in  com- 
bination :  e.g.  To  come  down,  to  come 
down  handsome,  or  to  come  down  with 
the  dust,  dues,  dibs,  ready,  oof,  shiners, 
blunt,  needful,  (1)  to  pay,  i.e.  to 




part  * ;  or  to  lay  down  (as  in  pay- 
ment) ;  to  fork  out :  see  Shell  out 
(1701) ;  (2)  to  abate  prices. 

Comedy-merchant.  An  actor :  see 

Comflogisticate.  To  embarrass,  put 
out  of  countenance,  confuse,  hoax,  of. 

Comf  oozled.  Overcome,  exhausted 

Comfortable-importance  (or  Com- 
fortable-impudence). A  wife ;  also 
a  mistress  in  a  wife's  position :  Fr., 
gouvernement :  see  Dutch. 

Comical.  A  napkin.  To  be  struck 
comical,  to  be  astonished. 

Coming.  Wanton,  forward,  sexual 

Commercial.  1.  A  tramping  rogue 
or  vagabond :  cf.  Traveller.  2.  A 
commercial  traveller. 

Commission  (or  Mish).  A  shirt. 
[From  the  Italian.] 

Commister.  A  clergyman :  also 
camister  (q.v.). 

Common-doings.  Every-day  fare: 
cf.  chicken-fixings.  [A  phrase  of 
Western  origin,  at  first  restricted  in 
its  meaning,  but  now  including  ordi- 
nary transactions  as  compared  to 
those  either  large  or  peculiarly  profit- 
able ;  applied  to  men,  actions,  and 
things.  What  shall  we  do  ?  '  says 
a  poor  frontiersman's  wife,  when  she 
hears  of  a  Federal  officer  who  is  to 
take  up  his  quarters  at  her  cabin  for 
a  day ;  '  I  can't  give  him  common- 

Commoner-grub  (Winchester  Col- 
lege). A  dinner  formerly  given  by 
Commoners  to  College  after  cricket 
matches.  [Commoners  are  boys  not  on 
the  foundation.] 

Commoney.  A  clay  marble :  cf. 

Common- jack.     A  prostitute. 

Common  •  plug.  An  ordinary 
member  of  society. 

Commonsensical.  Marked  with 
common  sense. 

Common- sewer.  A  drink,  dram  ; 
or  '  go.'  [From  common  sewer,  a 

Communicator.  To  agitate  the 
communicator,  to  ring  the  bell. 

C  o  m  p.  A  compositor.  [An  ab- 
breviated form  of  companion  now 
peculiar  to  compositors,  but  originally 
applied  to  pressmen  who  work  in 
couples,  as  well  as  to  compositors  who 

work  in  a  companionship,  or  ship 

Company.  To  tee  company,  to 
live  by  prostitution. 

Competition  -  wallah.  One  who 
enters  the  Indian  Civil  Service  by 

C  o  m  p  o.  A  sailor's  monthly  ad- 
vance of  wages. 

Compy  -  shop.  A  truck  shop. 
[Probably  a  corruption  of  company- 
shop  :  workmen,  before  the  passing  of 
certain  Truck  Acts  (q.v.),  having  been 
frequently  compelled  to  make  their 
weekly  purchases  at  shops  either  kept 
by,  or  worked  to  the  profit  of,  their 

don  (Winchester  College).  A  rap 
on  the  head  with  the  knuckles,  or 
anything  hard,  such  as  a  cricket  ball. 
As  verb,  to  rap  with  the  knuckles. 
[The  derivation  formerly  accepted  at 
Winchester  was  from  Kovlv\ov=s* 
knuckle,  but  the  editors  of  the  Wyke- 
hamist suggest  its  origin  in  the  North 
Country  con, '  to  fillip,"  with  which  the 
French  se  cogner  exactly  corresponds.] 

Concaves  and  Convexes.  Cards 
prepared  for  cheating.  All  from  the 
eight  to  the  king  are  cut  convex,  and 
all  from  the  deuce  to  the  seven,  con- 
cave ;  so  that  by  cutting  the  pack 
broadwise  you  cut  convex,  and  by 
cutting  them  lengthwise  you  cut 
concave.  Sometimes  they  are  shaped 
the  reverse  way,  so  that,  if  suspicion 
arises,  a  pack  so  treated  may  be  sub- 
stituted for  the  other  to  the  same 
effect  In  this  trick  the  sharper  has 
less  in  his  favour  than  in  others,  be- 
cause the  intended  victim  may  cut  in 
the  usual  way,  and  so  cut  a  low  card 
to  the  dealer.  But  the  certainty  of 
being  able  to  cut  or  deal  a  high  or  low 
card  at  pleasure,  gives  him  an  advan- 
tage against  which  skill  is  of  none 
avail.  Other  modes  of  sharping  are  by 
means  of  Reflectors  (q.v.) ;  Longs  and 
shorts,  (q.v.);  Pricked  Cards  (q.v.); 
The  Bridge  (q.v.) ;  Skinning  (q.v.) ; 
Weaving  (q.v.) ;  The  Gradus  (or  Step) 
(q.v.);  Palming  (q.v.);  and  The 
Telegraph  (q.v.). 

Concerned.  Drunk  :  see  Screwed. 

Concher.    A  tame  or  quiet  beast. 

Condiddle.  To  purloin  or  steal 

Condog.  To  agree  with :  of. 




Confab.  Familiar  talk  (1778). 
As  verb,  to  talk  in  a  familiar  manner, 
to  chat. 

Confectionery.  A  drinking  bar :  cf . 
Grocery,  and  Lush-crib. 

Confidence  Trick  (Dodge,  or 
Buck).  A  process  of  swindling, 
obtaining  trust  with  the  deliberate 
intention  of  betraying  it  to  one's  own 
advantage.  A  greenhorn  meets  (or 
rather  is  picked  up  by)  a  stranger  who 
invites  him  to  drink.  The  stranger 
admires  him  openly,  protests  his 
confidence  in  him,  and  to  prove  his 
sincerity  hands  him  over  a  large  sum 
of  money  [snide,  q.v.)]  or  valuables 
[bogus,  q.v.]  with  which  to  walk  off 
and  return.  The  greenhorn  does  both, 
whereupon  the  stranger  suggests  that 
it  is  his  turn  next,  and  being  favoured 
with  certain  proofs  of  confidence, 
which  in  this  case  are  real,  decamps, 
and  is  no  more  seen.  This  is  the  sim- 
plest form  of  the  trick,  but  the  confid- 
ence man  is  inexhaustible  in  devices. 
In  many  cases  the  subject's  idiosyn- 
crasy takes  the  form  of  an  idiotic 
desire  to  overreach  his  fellows ;  i.e. 
he  is  only  a  knave,  wrong  side  out,  and 
it  is  upon  this  idiosyncrasy  that  the 
operator  works.  He  offers  a  sham 
gold  watch  at  the  price  of  a  nickel  one  ; 
he  calls  with  presents  from  nowhere 
where  none  are  expected  ;  he  writes 
letters  announcing  huge  legacies  to 
persons  absolutely  kinless  ;  and  as  his 
appeal  is  addressed  to  the  sister  pas- 
sions of  greed  and  dishonesty,  he 
seldom  fails  of  his  reward.  FT., 
mener  en  bateau  un  pante  pour  le  re- 
fair  e=to  stick  a  jay  and  flap  him. 

Conflab  berated.  Bothered,  up- 
set, flummoxed  (q.v.). 

Conflabberation.  A  confused 
wrangle,  a  hullabaloo. 

Confounded.  Excessive,  odious, 
detestable,  e.g.  a  confounded  nuisance, 
lie,  humbug,  etc.  :  cf.  Awful,  Beastly, 
and  other  '  strumpets  of  speech ' 

Confubuscate.  To  confuse, 
perplex,  astonish  :  cf.  Confusticate. 

Coniacker.  A  counterfeiter, 
smasher,  (q.v.),  'queer -bit'  faker. 
[Obviously  a  play  upon  coin,  money, 
and  hack,  to  mutilate.]  Fr.,  un 
tnornifteur  tarte. 

Conish.     Genteel  (1830). 

Conk.  The  nose.  English  syno- 
nyms: boko  (or  boco),  proboscis, 

smeller,  bowsprit,  claret- jug,  gig, 
muzzle,  cheese-cutter,  beak,  snuff- 
box, snorter,  post-horn,  paste-horn, 
handle,  snout,  nozzle,  smelling-cheat, 
snotter,  candlestick,  celestial,  snottle- 
box,  snuffler,  trumpet,  snorer,  peak. 

Conoodle.     See  Canoodle. 

Conscience.  A  kind  of  association 
in  a  small  theatrical  company  for  the 
allotment  of  shares  in  the  profits,  etc. 
The  man  who  is  lucky  enough  to  have 
a  concern  of  his  own,  generally  a  very 
small  affair,  however  badly  he  may 
act,  must  be  the  leading  man  or  first 
low  comedian,  perhaps  both.  He 
becomes  the  manager,  of  course,  and 
thus  has  one  share  for  '  fit-up,'  one  for 
scenery,  one  and  a  half  for  manage- 
ment, one  for  wardrobe,  one  and  a 
half  as  leading  man ;  and  the  same  is 
given  to  the  wife,  who,  of  course,  will 
not  play  anything  but  the  juvenile 
lead,  but  who  at  any  other  time  would 
be  glad  to  play  first  old  woman. 

Considerable  Bend.  To  go  on  the 
considerable  bend,  to  go  in  for  a  bout 
of  dissipation. 

Consonant- choker.  One  that  clips 
his  G's  and  muffles  his  R's. 

Constable.  To  out-  (or  over-run) 
the  constable,  to  live  beyond  one's 
means  and  get  into  debt ;  also,  in  a 
figurative  sense,  to  escape  from  a  bad 
argument,  to  change  the  subject, 
to  talk  about  what  is  not  understood 

Constician.  A  member  of  an 

Constitutional.  A  walk  undertaken 
for  the  sake  of  health  and  exercise 
[i.e.  for  the  benefit  of  the  constitu- 
tion] :  Fr.,  tronchiner  (1850). 

Contango  (Stock  Exchange). 
A  fine  paid  by  the  buyer  to  the  seller 
of  stock  for  carrying  over  the  en- 
gagement to  another  settling  day,  and 
representing  a  kind  of  interest  for  a 
fourteen  days'  extension.  [Thought 
to  be  a  corruption  of  continuation.] 

Content.  Dead  :  see  Hop  the 

Continent  (Winchester  College). 
Ill ;  on  the  sick  list.  [From  continent 
cameram  vel  lectum,  keeping  one's 
room  or  bed.]  See  Abroad. 

Continental.  To  care  (or  be  worth) 
not  a  continental  or  continental  damn, 
to  be  worthless ;  to  care  not  in  the 
least  degree. 




Continuations.  Trousers:  see  Kick*. 
[Of  analogous  derivation  to  inexpres- 
sibles ;  unmentionables  ;  mustn't- men- 
tion'ems  ;  untalkabou  tables,  etc.] 

Contraptions.  Small  articles,  tools, 
and  so  forth  (1838). 

Convenience.  A  water-closet  or 

Convenient     A  mistress  (1676). 

Convexes.     See  Concaves, 

Convey.  To  steal  (1596).  Hence 
conveyance,  a  theft  (1592).  Convey- 
ancer, a  thief :  also  conveyer.  Con- 
veyancing, thieving. 

Cony  (or  Tom  Cony).  A  simpleton. 

Conycatch.  To  cheat,  deceive, 
trick,  bite  (q.v.)  (1593).  Hence, 
cony-catcher,  a  cheat,  sharper,  trick- 
ster. Cony-catching,  cheating,  trickery, 
swindling  after  the  manner  of  Cony- 
catchers  (q.v.). 

Coo-e-e-e  or  Coo-ey.  A  signal  cry 
of  the  Australian  blackfellow,  adopted 
by  the  invading  whites.  The  final 
'  e  '  is  a  very  high  note,  a  sort  of  pro- 
longed screech,  that  resounds  for 
miles  through  the  bush,  and  thus 
enables  parties  that  have  lost  each 
other  to  ascertain  their  relative 

Cook.  1.  To  tamper  with,  garble,  or 
falsify :  accounts  are  cooked  when  so 
altered  as  to  look  better  than  they  are ; 
pictures  are  cooked  when  dodged-up 
for  sale ;  painters  say  that  a  picture 
will  not  cook  when  it  is  so  excellent  as 
to  be  beyond  imitation  (1751).  2. 
To  swelter  with  heat  and  sweat.  To 
cook  one1 8  goose,  to  settle,  worst,  kill, 
ruin.  English  synonyms :  to  anodyne, 
to  put  to  oed,  to  snuff  out,  to  give  (or 
cook)  one's  gruel,  to  corpse,  to  cooper 
up,  to  wipe  out,  to  spiflicate,  to  settle 
(or  settle  one's  hash),  to  squash,  to 
shut  up,  to  send  to  pot,  to  smash,  to 
finish,  to  do  for,  to  put  one's  light  out, 
to  stop  one's  little  game,  to  stop  one's 
galloping,  to  put  on  an  extinguisher,  to 
clap  a  stopper  on,  to  bottle  up,  to 
squelch,  to  play  hell  with,  to  rot,  to 
squash  up,  to  stash,  to  give  a  croaker. 
For  synonyms  in  the  sense  of  circum- 
vention :  see  Floored. 

Cookeyshine.  An  afternoon 
meal  at  which  cookies  form  a  staple 
dish :  cf.  Tea-fight,  Muffin-worry. 

Cook-ruffian.  A  bad  or  indifferent 
cook,  one  '  who  would  cook  the  devil 
in  his  feathers.' 

Cool.  1.  Impertinent,  audacious, 
calmly  impudent  2.  (In  refer- 
ence to  money ;  e.g.  a  cool  hun- 
dred, thousand,  etc.).  Commonly 
expletive ;  but  sometimes  used  to 
cover  a  sum  a  little  above  the  figure 
stated  (1750).  As  verb  (Eton  Col- 
lege).  To  kick  hard.  Hence,  Cool- 
kick,  when  a  Behind  (q.v.),  or  back, 
gets  a  kick  with  no  one  up  to  him. 
Cool  as  a  cucumber,  without  heat ;  also, 
metaphorically,  calm  and  composed. 
To  cool  one's  coppers,  to  allay  the 
morning's  thirst  after  a  night  of  drink. 

Cool-crape.  A  shroud,  or  winding 
sheet  (Grose)  (1742). 

Cooler.  1.  A  woman  (1742). 
2.  A  prison :  see  Cage.  3.  Ale  or 
stout  after  spirits  and  water :  some- 
times called  Putting  the  beggar  on 
the  gentleman ;  also  Damper  (q.v.) 

Cool-lady.  A  female  camp  fol- 
lower who  sells  brandy  (Grose). 

Cool-nantz.     Brandy:   see  Drinks. 

Coon.  1.  A  man.  2.  A  nigger,  e.g. 
a  coons'  bawdy  house,  house  where 
none  are  kept  but  girls  of  colour. 
Oone  coon,  one  in  a  senous  or  hopeless 
difficulty.  To  go  the  whole  coon,  to  go 
the  whole  hog. 

Coon's  -  age.  A  long  time,  a  blue 

Coop.  A  prison:  see  Cage.  Hence, 
Cooped  up,  imprisoned. 

Cooper  (or  Cooper  up).  1.  To 
destroy,  spoil,  settle,  or  finish.  2. 
To  forge.  3.  To  understand.  Hence, 
Coopered,  hocussed,  spoiled,  ruined, 
e.g.  a  house  is  said  to  be  coopered 
when  the  importunity  of  many  tramps 
has  caused  its  inmates  to  cold-shoul- 
der the  whole  fraternity  ;  a  coopered 
horse  is  a  horse  that  has  been  '  got  at ' 
with  a  view  to  prevent  its  running. 

Coored.  Whipped  (D.  Haggart, 
Life,  Glossary,  p.  171  [1821].) 

Coot  A  stupid  fellow ;  generally 
a  silly,  or  mad,  old  coot :  stupid 
as  a  coot  is  a  common  English  pro- 
vincialism :  see  Buffle. 

Cooter.     See  Couter. 

Cop.  A  policeman.  As  verb.  1. 
To  seize,  steal,  catch,  take  an  unfair 
advantage  in  a  bet  or  bargain.  [Cop 
has  been  associated  with  the  root  of 
the  Latin  cap-io,  to  seize,  to  snatch ; 
also  with  the  Gipsy  tap  or  top  =  to 
take  ;  Scotch  kep  ;  and  Gallic  ceapan. 
Probably,  however,  its  true  radix  ia 




to  be  found  in  the  Hebrew  eop=a 
hand  or  palm.  Low-class  Jews  em- 
ploy the  term,  and  understand  it  to 
refer  to  the  act  of  snatching.]  Cop 
like  Chuck  (q.v.),  is  a  sort  of  general 
utility  verb  :  thus  to  cop  the  needle,  to 
get  angry ;  to  cop  the  bullet  (or  the 
door),  to  get  the  sack ;  and  to  cop  the 
brewer,  to  be  drunk.  2.  To  arrest, 
imprison,  betray,  ensnare.  English 
synonyms :  to  give  the  clinch,  to  make 
one  kiss  the  clink,  to  accommodate,  to 
nobble,  to  bag,  to  box,  to  fist  (old), 
to  scoop,  to  take  up,  to  victimize,  to 
run  in,  to  give  (or  get)  one  the  boat, 
to  buckle,  to  smug,  to  nab,  to  collar,  to 
pinch,  to  nail,  to  rope  in,  to  snake, 
to  pull  up. 

Copbusy.  To  hand  over  booty  to 
a  confederate. 

Copper.    A  policeman. 

Copperheads.  A  nickname  applied 
to  different  sections  of  the  American 
nation  ;  first  to  the  Indian  ;  then  to 
the  Dutch  colonist  (see  Irving,  Knicker- 
bocker) ;  lastly,  during  the  Civil  War, 
to  certain  Northern  Democrats  who 
sympathised  with  the  South. 

Copperman.     A  policeman. 

Copper-nose.  A  swollen,  pimply 
nose,  a  jolly  or  bottle  nose ;  Fr., 
bette-rave,  piton  passe  d  I 'encaustiqw  : 
of.  Grogblossom  (1822). 

Copper's-nark.  A  police  spy,  one 
in  the  pay  of  the  police. 

C  o  p  u  s.  A  wine  or  beer  cup  : 
commonly  imposed  as  a  fine  upon 
those  who  talked  Latin  in  hall  or  com- 
mitted other  breaches  of  etiquette. 
Dr.  Johnson  derives  it  from  episcopus, 
and  if  this  be  correct  it  is  doubtless  the 
same  as  bishop. 

Copy- of  -  countenance.  A  sham, 
humbug,  pretence  (1579). 

Core  (C  o  r  e  i  n  g).  Picking  up 
small  articles  in  shops  (1821). 

Corinth.  A  brothel  (1609). 
Hence,  Corinthian.  1.  A  rake,  loose 
liver,  sometimes  specifically,  a  fashion- 
able whore.  Shakespeare  has  it,  '  a 
lad  of  mettle,'  but  in  another  place 
he  uses  Corinth  as  above.  2.  A  dandy, 
specifically  applied  in  the  early  part 
of  the  present  century  to  a  man  of 
fashion ;  e.g.  Corinthian  Tom,  hi 
Pierce  Egan's  Life  in  London. 

Cork.  1.  A  bankrupt.  2.  A 
general  name  in  Glasgow  and  neigh- 
bourhood for  the  head  of  an  establish- 
ment, e.g.  of  a  factory,  or  the  like.  To 

draw  a  cork,  to  draw  blood  ;  to  tap 
one's  claret  (1818). 

Cork-brained.  Light  headed, 

Corker.  1.  That  which  closes  an 
argument,  or  puts  an  end  to  a  course 
of  action  ;  a  settler  ;  a  finisher  (q.v.) ; 
specifically  a  lie :  cf.  Whopper.  2, 
Anything  unusually  large,  or  of  first- 
rate  quality ;  remarkable  in  some 
respect  or  another ;  e.g.  a  heavy 
blow ;  a  monstrous  lie.  To  play  the 
corker,  to  indulge  in  the  uncommon, 
exhibit  exaggerated  peculiarities  of 
demeanour  :  specifically  in  school  and 
university  slang  to  make  oneself  ob- 
jectionable to  one's  fellows. 

Corks.  1.  A  butler:  cf.  Burn- 
crust,  a  baker ;  Master  of  the  mint,  a 
gardener;  Cinder-garbler,  a  maid-of- 
all-work,  etc.  2.  (nautical).  Money  : 
see  Rhino. 

Corkscrewing.  The  straggling, 
spiral  walk  of  tipsiness. 

Corkscrews.  Very  stiff  and  formal 
curls,  once  called  Bottle-screws. 

Corky.  Sprightly,  lively.  Shakes- 
peare uses  it  in  King  Lear,  m.  vii. 
Com.,  Bind  fast  his  corky  arms ;  but 
with  him  (1605)  it  =  withered. 

Corn.  1.  Food,  sustenance,  grub 
(q.v.).  2.  An  abbreviated  form  of 
corn -juice  (q.v.),  i.e.  whisky  (1843). 
To  acknowledge  the  corn  :  see  Acknow- 

Corned.  1.  Drunk  :  see  Screwed 
(1785).  2.  (sailors'),  pleased. 

Corner.  1.  Tattersall's  Subscrip- 
tion Rooms,  once  situate  at  the  top  of 
Grosvenor  Place,  near  Hyde  Park 
Corner  ;  now  removed  to  Albert  Gate, 
but  still  known  by  the  old  nickname. 
2.  Short  for  Tattenham  Corner,  a 
point  on  the  Derby  course  on  Epsom 
Downs.  3.  A  share  ;  an  opportunity 
of  standing  in  for  the  proceeds  of  a 
robbery.  As  verb,  to  get  control  of  a 
stock  or  commodity  and  so  mono- 
polize the  market ;  applied  to  persons, 
to  drive  or  force  into  a  position  of 
difficulty  or  surrender,  e.g.  in  an 
argument ;  also  as  subs.,  a  monopoly, 
a  controlling  interest.  Fr.,  etre  en  fine 
pfgr&ne,  and  se  mettre  sur  les  fonts  de 
bapteme.  Tailors  speak  of  a  man  as 
cornered  who  has  pawned  work  en- 
trusted to  him,  and  cannot  redeem  it. 
To  be  round  the  corner,  to  get  round 
or  ahead  of  one's  fellows  by  dishonest 
cuts,  doublings,  twists,  and  turns.  To 




turn  the  corner,  to  get  over  the  worst, 
begin  to  mend  in  health  and  fortune. 
To  be  cornered,  to  be  in  a  fix :  Fr., 
etre  dans  le  lac, 

Corner-man  (or  Cove).  1.  A  loafer; 
literally  a  lounger  at  corners  (1851). 
2.  The  '  Bones  '  and  '  Tambourine  '  in 
a  band  of  negro  minstrels. 

Corn-in- Egypt  Plenty  of  all  kinds. 

Cornish-duck.  A  pilchard:  cf. 
Yarmouth  capon. 

Corn- juice.     Whisky  :  see  Drinks. 

Cornstalk.  Generic  (Australian) 
for  persons  of  European  descent, 
but  especially  applied  to  girls.  The 
children  of  Anglo  -  Australians  are 
generally  taller  and  slighter  in  build 
than  their  parents.  Originally  a  native 
of  New  South  Wales ;  now  general. 
Cf.  Bananalander. 

Cornstealers.     The  hands. 

Corny-faced.  Red  and  pimply  with 

Coroner.     A  severe  fall. 

Corporation.  A  protuberant 
stomach  :  see  Bread-basket  (1785). 

Corpse.  A  horse  in  the  betting  for 
market  purposes  alone  ;  otherwise  a 
stiff  un.  Verb,  1.  To  confuse,  queer, 
blunder,  and  so  put  out  one's  fellows, 
to  spoil  a  scene.  2.  To  kill  (literally 
to  make  a  corpse  of  one).  Fr.,  parier 
sur  quelqu'un. 

Corps  e- provider.  A  doctor  or 
physician :  see  Crocus. 

Corpse-reviver.     A  mixed  drink. 

Correct  (or  K'rect  Card).  See  Card. 

Corroboree.  A  disturbance. 
[Properly  a  tremendous  native  dance.] 
Verb,  to  boiL 

Gorsican.  Something  out  of  the 
common ;  a  buster.  [A  Burnand- 

Corybungus.    The  posteriors. 

Cosh.  A  '  neddy,'  a  life-preserver ; 
a  short,  loaded  bludgeon.  Also  a 
policeman's  truncheon. 

Cossack.     A  policeman. 

Costard.  The  head.  [Properly  an 
apple.]  See  Crumpet  (1534). 

Cotch.  To  catch.  [A  corruption.] 
Also  ppL  adj.,  Co tohed. 

Cot  (Christ's  Hospital).  A  shoe- 

Cotsold  (or  Cotswold  Lion).  A 
iheep  :  see  Wool-bird  (1615). 

Cotton.  To  take  a  fancy  to,  unite 
with,  agree  with.  In  the  last  sense  it  is 
found  occasionally  in  the  Elizabethan 

writers,  and  is  American  by  survival" 
To  die  with  cotton  in  one's  tars :  Many 
of  the  most  hardened  and  desperate 
offenders,  from  the  kindness,  attention, 
and  soothing  conduct  of  the  Rev.  Mr. 
Cotton  [the  chaplain  at  Newgate, 
1821],  who  is  indefatigable  in  admin- 
istering consolation  to  their  troubled 
minds,  have  become  the  most  sincere 
penitent*  (Egan,  Tom  and  Jerry). 
This  was  by  no  means  the  only  instance 
of  a  popular  punning  allusion  to  the 
name  of  Cotton.  The  Jesuit  Father 
Coton,  having  obtained  a  great 
ascendency  over  Henri  IV.,  it  was 
remarked  by  that  monarch's  subject* 
that,  unfortunately,  hi*  ears  were 
stuffed  with  cotton. 

Cotton-lord  (or  king).  A  wealthy 
cotton  manufacturer. 

Cottonopolis.  Manchester :  cf. 
Albertopolis,  Cubitopolis,  Hygeia- 

Cottons  (Stock  Exchange).  Con- 
federate Bonds.  [From  the  staple  of 
the  Southern  States.] 

Cotton  -  top.  A  woman  loose  in 
fact,  but  keeping  up  some  sort  of 
appearance.  [In  allusion  to  cotton 
stockings  with  silk  feet.] 

Couch.  To  couch  a  hogshead,  to  lie 
down  and  sleep  (1569). 

Councillor  of  the  Pipowder  Court. 
A  pettifogging  lawyer.  [The  Pi- 
powder  Court  was  one  held  at  fairs 
where  justice  was  done  to  any  injured 
person  before  the  dust  of  the  fair  was 
off  his  feet ;  the  name  being  derived 
from  the  French  pie  poudrf.  Some, 
however,  think  that  it  had  its  origin 
in  pied-poiddreux,  a  pedlar,  and 
signifies  a  pedlars'  court. 

Council-of-ten.  The  toes  of  a  man 
who  walks  Duck- footed  (q.v.) :  cf. 
Ten  commandments  :  Fr.,  arpiom. 

Counsellor.  A  barrister:  Fr., 

Count.     A  man  of  fashion,  a  swell. 

Counter.  To  strike  while  parry- 
ing. Figuratively,  to  oppose,  to  cir- 
cumvent. Another  lie  nailed  to  the 
counter :  see  Another. 

Counterfeit-cranke.  '  These  that  do 
coimterfet  the  cranke  be  yong  knavea 
and  yonge  harlots,  that  deeply  dis- 
semble the  falling  sickness  '  (Harmon). 
Hence,  a  cheat. 

Counter-jumper  (or  skipper). 
A  draper's  assistant,  a  shopman  :  Fr., 
chevalier  du  metre :  see  Knight  of  the 




yard  :  also  Counter- jump,  to  act  as  a 
shop-assistant,  and  Counter- jumping, 
verbal  subs.  (1855). 

Count.     See  Noses. 

Country.  That  part  of  the  ground 
at  a  great  distance  from  the  wicket ; 
thus,  a  fielder  at  deep-long-off,  or 
long-on  is  said  to  be  in  the  country, 
and  a  ball  bit  to  the  far  boundary,  is 
hit  into  the  country. 

Country- put.  An  ignorant,  country 
fellow:  see  Joskin.  (1717). 

County-crop.  The  hair  cut  close 
to  the  skull ;  a  mode  once  common  to 
all  prisoners,  but  now  to  convicts  only  : 
also  prison-crop. 

Couple  (or  Buckle)  beggar.  A 
celebrant  of  irregular  marriages — as 
the  Chaplain  of  the  Fleet ;  a  hedge 
priest  (1737). 

Coupling- house.     A  brothel. 

Couranne.    See  Caroon. 

Court-card.     A  beau,  swell. 

Court  Holy  Water  (or  Court  Pro- 
mises). Fair  speeches  without  per- 

Cousin  Betty.  A  half-witted 
person :  see  Buffle. 

Cousin-trumps.  One  of  a  kind, 
Brother  smut,  Brother  chip. 

Couter  (or  Cooter).  A  sovereign  : 
see  Rhino. 

Cove  (Covey,  Cofe,  Cuffing,  and, 
in  the  feminine,  Covess).  1.  A 
person ;  a  companion.  Cove  enters 
into  many  combinations :  e.g.  Cross- 
cove,  a  robber  ;  Flash-cove,  a  thief  or 
swindler  ;  Kinchin-cove,  a  little  man  ; 
Flogging-cove,  a  beadle ;  Smacking- 
cove,  a  coachman  ;  Narry  -  cove,  a 
drunkard  ;  Topping-cove,  a  highway- 
man ;  Abram-cove,  a  beggar ;  Queer- 
cove,  a  rogue ;  Nubbing-cove,  the 
hangman  ;  Gentry-cove,  a  gentleman  ; 
Downy-cove,  shrewd  man  ;  Rum-cove, 
a  doubtful  character  ;  Nib  -  cove,  a 
gentleman,  etc.,  etc.,  etc.,  all  which 
see.  English  synonyms :  boy,  chap, 
cull,  cully,  customer,  kiddy,  homo  (or 
omee),  fish,  put,  bloke,  gloak,  party, 
cuss,  codger,  buffer,  gaffer,  damber, 
duck,  chip.  [For  examples  of  the 
use  of  Covey  and  Covess,  see  same.] 
2.  In  up  -  country  Australian,  the 
master,  boss,  or  gaffer  of  a  sheep 
station.  Cove  of  dossing-ken,  the  land- 
lord of  a  common  lodging-house  :  Fr., 
marchand  de  sommeti. 

Covent  Garden.  A  '  farden  '  or 

Covent  -  garden  Abbess.  A  pro- 
curess. [Covent  Garden  at  one  time 
teemed  with  brothels  :  as  Fielding's 
Covent  Garden  Tragedy  (1751-2)  sug- 

Covent-garden  Ague.     A  venereal 

Covent  -  garden  Nun.  A  pro- 

Coventry.  To  send  one  to  (or  to 
be  in)  Coventry,  to  exclude  from  social 
intercourse,  or  notice;  to  be  in  dis- 

Cover.  A  pickpocket's  confed- 
erate :  one  who  '  fronts,'  i.e.  distracts 
the  attention  of,  the  victim  ;  a  stall 
(q.v.).  As  verb,  1.  To  act  as  a  pick- 
pocket's confederate.  2.  To  drink : 
see  Lush. 

Cover-arse  Gown.  A  gown  with- 
out sleeves  (1803). 

Cover-down.  An  obsolete  term  for 
a  false  tossing  coin  :  see  Cap. 

Cover- me -decently.  A  coat 

Covess.  A  woman :  see  Cove.  (1789). 

Covey.  A  man :  a  diminutive  of 
cove  (q.v.). 

Cow.  1.  A  woman.  The  term  is 
now  opprobrious ;  but  in  its  primary 
and  natural  sense  the  usage  is  ancient. 
Howell  [1659]  says  :  '  There  are  some 
proverbs  that  carry  a  kind  of  authority 
with  them,  as  that  which  began  in 
Henrie  the  Fourth's  time.  "  He  that 
bulls  the  cow  must  keep  the  calf."  ' 
2.  A  prostitute.  3.  A  thousand  pounds : 
see  Rhino.  To  talk  the  hind  leg  off  a 
cow  (or  dog) :  see  Talk.  Tune  the  cow 
died  of :  see  Tune. 

Cowan.     A  sneak,  a  Paul  Pry. 

Cow- and- calf.    To  laugh. 

Coward's- castle  (or  Corner).  A 

Cowcumber.  A  corruption  of 

Cow-grease  (or  Cow-oil).  Butter : 
see  Cart-grease. 

Cow- juice.     Milk. 

Cow-lick.  A  lock  of  hair,  greased, 
curled,  brought  forward  from  the  ear, 
and  plastered  on  the  cheek :  once 
common  amongst  costermongers  and 
tramps  :  see  Aggerawators. 

Cow-oil.     Cow-grease. 

Cow-puncher.  A  cowboy  or  herds- 

Cow- quake.     The  roar  of  a  bull. 

Cows-and-kisses.  The  missus,  or 
mistress  ;  also  women  generally. 




Cow's  -  baby  (or  babe)  A  calf, 
Bleating-cheat  (q.v.). 

Cow-shooter  (Winchester  College). 
A  deerstalker  hat :  only  worn  by  prse- 
fecte  and  candle-keepers. 

Cow's-spouse.     A  bull  (Orose). 

Cow  -  with  -  the  -  iron  -  tail.  A 
pump ;  the  source  of  the  '  cooling 
medium  '  for  '  regulating  '  milk  :  also 
Black  -  cow,  One  -  armed  man,  and 
Simpson's  oow  (q.v.). 

Coxy.  Stuck  up,  conceited,  im- 
pudent (1856). 

Coyduck.  To  decoy.  [A  blend  of 
conduct  *nd  decoy.]  (1829). 

Cozza.     Pork. 

Crab.  1.  The  same  as  bonnet  (q.v.) 
subs.,  sense  1.  2.  In  pi.,  the  feet. 

3.  A  pair  of  aces,  or  deuce-ace — the 
lowest  throw  at  hazard  ( 1 768).     Verb, 
to  expose,  inform,  offend,  insult ;  and 
especially  to  interrupt,  to  get  in  the 
way  of,  to  spoil.     To  turn  out  crabs 
(or  a  case  of  crabs),  a  matter  turns  out 
crabs  when  it  is  brought  to  a  dis- 
agreeable   conclusion.      To    catch    a 
crab  (to  cut  a  crab,  to  catch  or  cut  a 
cancer  or  lobster),   there  are  various 
ways  of  catching  a  crab,  as,  for  ex- 
ample ( 1 )  to  turn  the  blade  of  the  oar 
or     feather '  under  water  at  the  end 
of  the  stroke,  and  thus  be  unable  to 
recover  ;  (2)  to  lose  control  of  the  oar 
at  the  middle  of  the  stroke  by  dig- 
ging too  deeply ;   or  (3)  to  miss  the 
water  altogether. 

Crab-louse.  The  pulex  pubis,  the 
male  whereof  is  called  a  cock,  the 
female  a  hen  (Grose). 

Crabshells.     Shoes. 

Crack.  1.  A  crazy  person :  soft- 
head :  see  Buffle  (1609).  2.  A  pro- 
stitute (1698).  3.  A  lie  :  also  Cracker. 

4.  A  burglary.     5.  A  burglar  (1749). 

6.  An  approach  to  perfection  (1825). 

7.  A  racehorse  eminent  for  speed,  and 
(hunting),     a    famous    '  mount.'     8. 
Dry    firewood.      Adj.,      approaching 
perfection :   used   in   a  multitude  of 
combinations.     A   crack  hand   is   an 
adept  or  dabster;    a  crack  corps,  a 
brilliant  regiment ;  a  crack  whip,  good 
coachman;    etc.    (1836).       Verb,    1. 
To   talk   to,   boast.     [The   verb   was 
once  good  English,  and  in  the  sense  of 
to  talk  or  gossip  is  still  good  Scots. 
The  modern  form  to  crack  up,  is  well 
within  the  borderland  between  literary 
and  colloquial  English  (1597).     2.  To 
force  open,  to  commit  a  burglary.     3. 

To  forge  or  utter  worthless  paper.  4. 
To  fall  to  ruin,  to  be  impaired  (1631). 
5.  To  inform ;  to  peach  (q.v.).  To 
crack  a  bottle  (or  a  quart),  to  drink 
(1598).  To  crack  a  crib  (sway,  or  ken),  to 
commit  a  burglary ;  to  break  into  a 
house.  English  synonyms  :  to  stamp 
a  ken  or  crib,  to  work  a  panny,  to 
jump  a  house  (also  applied  to  simple 
robbery  without  burglary),  to  do  a 
crack,  to  practise  the  black  art,  to 
screw,  to  bust  a  crib,  to  flimp,  to  buz, 
to  tool,  to  wire,  to  do  a  ken-crack-lay. 
To  crack  a  crust,  to  rub  along  in  the 
world:  a  superlative  fordoing  very  well 
is,  to  crack  a  tidy  crust.  To  crack  a  whid, 
to  talk.  To  crack  on,  to  put  on  speed, 
increase  one  s  pace.  To  crack  up,  to 
praise,  eulogize :  a  superlative  is  to 
crack  up  to  the  nines :  Fr.,  faire  F article, 
and  faire  son  boniment  (or  son  petit 
boniment).  The  crack  (or  all  the  crack), 
the  go  (q.v.),  the  thing,  the  kick,  the 
general  craze  of  the  moment.  In  a 
crack,  instantaneously,  in  the  twink- 
ling of  an  eye  (1725). 

Cracked  (or  Cracked-up).  1. 
Ruined,  bust  up,  gone  to  smash  (or 
to  pot).  2.  Crazy.  3.  Deflowered : 
also  Cracked  in  the  ring. 

Cracker.  Anything  approaching 
perfection  :  used  in  both  a  good  and 
bad  sense ;  e.g.  a  rattling  pace,  a 
large  sum  of  money,  a  bad  fall,  an 
enormous  lie,  a  dandy  (male  or  female) 
of  the  first  magnitude,  and  so  forth. 

Cracky.     See  Crickey. 

Crack  -  halter  (or  Crack  -  rope). 
A  vagabond ;  an  old  equivalent  of 
jail-bird:  cf.  Hemp-seed  (1566). 

Cracking.     House-breaking. 

Crackish.  Wanton,  said  only  of 
women  :  cf.  Coming. 

Crack-jaw  Words  (Names,  etc.). 
Long  words  difficult  to  pronounce. 

Crackle  (or  Crackling).  The  velvet 
bars  on  the  gowns  of  the  Johnian 
'hogs'  (q.v.). 

Crackmans  (or  Cragmans).  A 
hedge  (1610). 

Crack  for  Break)  One's  Egg  (or 
Duck.  To  begin  to  score.  [To 
make  no  run  is  to  lay,  or  make,  a 
duck's  egg ;  to  make  none  in  either 
innings  is  to  get  a  double-duck,  or 
to  come  off  with  a  pair  of  spectacles.] 

Crack- pot.  A  pretentious,  worth- 
less person. 

Crack-rope.     See  Crack-halter. 

Cracksman.     A  housebreaker. 




Cradle,  Altar,  and  Tomb  Column. 
The  births,  marriages,  and  deaths 
column  in  a  newspaper:  also  Hatch, 
Match,  and  Dispatch  column. 

Crag.      See  Scrag. 

Cram.  1.  A  lie  ;  also  Crammer.  2. 
Hard,  forced  study.  3.  One  who 
prepares  another  for  an  examination, 
a  coach,  a  grindstone.  4.  An  adven- 
titious aid  to  study,  a  translation, 
a  crib.  Verb,  1.  To  study  at  high 
pressure  for  an  examination :  also  to 
prepare  one  for  examination  (1803). 
2.  To  lie,  deceive  (1794). 

Crammer.  1.  A  liar,  one  who  tells 
Crams  (q.v.).  2.  A  lie ;  the  same  as 
cram.  3.  One  who  prepares  men  for 
examination,  a  coach,  grinder  (q.v.) 

Cramming.  The  act  of  studying 
hard  for  an  examination. 

Cramped  (or  Crapped).  Hanged  ; 
also  killed. 

Cramping-cull.     The  hangman. 

Cramp  in  the  Hand.  Meanness, 

Cramp  -  rings.  Bolts,  shackles, 
fetters.  [Properly  a  ring  of  gold  or 
silver,  which  after  being  blessed  by 
the  sovereign,  was  held  a  specific  for 
cramp  and  f ailing-sickness.  ]  (1 609 ). 

Cramp  -  words.  1.  Hard,  unpro- 
nounceable vocables,  Crackjaw  words 
(q.v.)  (1748).  2.  Sentence  of  death 

Cranberry-eye.  A  blood-shot  eye ; 
the  result  of  alcoholism. 

Crank.  1.  '  These  that  do  coun- 
terfet  the  cranke  be  yong  knaues  and 
yonge  harlots,  that  deeply  dissemble 
the  falling  sicknes.  For  the  crank  in 
their  language  is  the  fallinge  evill ' 
(Harmari).  Also  Cranke  and  Crank- 
cuffin.  2.  Gin  and  water  (Orose).  3. 
An  eccentric,  a  crotcheteer.  Adj., 
Easily  upset :  e.g.  The  skiff  is  very 

Crank- cuffin.  One  of  the  canting- 
crew  whose  specialty  was  to  feign 
sickness :  see  Crank. 

Cranky.  Crotchetty,  whimsical, 
ricketty,  not  to  be  depended  upon, 
crazy.  English  synonyms :  dicky, 
maggotty,  dead-alive,  yappy,  touched, 
chumpish,  comical,  dotty,  rocketty, 
queer,  faddy,  fadmongering,  twisted, 

Crao.  1.  Money;  sometimes  crop  : 
see  Rhino.  2.  The  gallows :  see 
Nubbing  Cheat.  3.  Type  that  has  got 


mixed ;  technically  known  as  '  pi.' 
Verb,  1.  To  hang ;  to  be  cropped,  to 
be  hanged.  2.  To  ease  oneself  by 
evacuation  :  see  Mrs.  Jones. 

Crapping  -  casa  (case,  castle,  or 
ken).  A  water-closet. 

Crapping  -  castle.  A  night  stool : 
see  previous  entry. 

Crash.  1.  Entertainment:  prob- 
ably a  cant  word  (Nares).  2.  The 
machine  used  to  suggest  the  roar  of 
thunder ;  a  noise  of  desperate  (and 
unseen)  conflict ;  an  effect  of  '  alarums 
excursions'  generally.  Verb,  to  kill. 

Crashing  -  cheats  (or  chetes). 
1.  The  teeth  (1567).  2.  '  Appels, 
peares,  or  any  other  fruit '  (Harmon). 

Crater  (Cratur,  or  Creature). 
Formerly,  any  kind  of  liquor,  now, 
Irish  whisky.  [Fuller  speaks  of 
water  as  '  a  creature  so  common  and 
needful,'  and  Bacon  describes  light  as 
'  God's  first  creature.'  Transition  is 
easy.]  The  skin  of  the  creature,  the 
bottle  :  see  Drinks  (1598). 

Crawl.  A  workman  who  curries 
favour  with  a  foreman  or  emp  )oyer,  a 

Crawler.  1.  A  cab  that  leaves  the 
rank  and  '  crawls  '  the  street  in  search 
of  fares.  2.  A  term  of  contempt, 

Crawthumper.  1.  Roman 
Catholic,  '  the  Pope's  cockrels ' 
(1629) :  also  Brisket-beaters  and,  col- 
lectively, the  Breast  -  fleet.  2.  In 
America  an  Irishman  or  Dick,  i.e.  an 
Irish  Catholic  (1782). 

Cream  Cheese.  To  make  believe  the 
moon  is  made  of  cream  (or  green)  cheese, 
to  humbug,  to  deceive,  to  impose  upon. 

Cream  -  jugs  (Stock  Exchange). 
1.  Charkof  -  Krementschug  Railway 
Bonds.  2.  The  paps. 

Cream  -  of  -  the  -  valley,  (also  Cold 
Cream).  Gin :  cf.  Mountain  Dew, 

Creamy.  Excellent,  first-rate  :  see 

Creation.  To  beat  (or  lick)  creation, 
to  overpower,  excel,  surpass,  be  in- 

Creeme.  To  slip  or  slide  anything 
into  the  hands  of  another  (Orose). 

Creeper.  One  who  cringes  and 
curries  favour,  a  skunk,  a  snide  (q.v.). 

Creepers.  1.  The  feet.  English  syn- 
onyms: dew-beaters,  beetle-crushers, 
understandings,  trotters,  tootsies, 
stumps  (also  the  legs),  everlasting 



•hoes,  hocks,  boot-trees,  pasterns, 
arda  (Old  Cant  now  used  as  an  adj.  = 
hot),  double- breasters,  daisy-beaters, 
kickers,  crabs,  trampers,  hockles, 
hoofs,  pudseys.  2.  Lice :  see  Chates. 

Creeps.  The  peculiar  thrill  re- 
sulting from  an  undefinable  sense  of 
dread :  Goose  -  flesh,  Cold  shivers, 
Cold  water  down  the  back  (1836). 

Crevecosur.      See    Heart  -  breaker. 

Cxi.  The  Criterion,  theatre  and 
restaurant,  at  Piccadilly  Circus. 

Crib.  1.  The  stomach  (1656).  2. 
Generic  for  a  place ;  e.g.  a  house, 
place  of  abode,  apartments,  lodgings, 
shop,  warehouse,  den,  diggings,  or 
snuggery  (1598).  3.  A  situation,  place, 
or  berth*.  4.  A  literal  translation  sur- 
reptitiously used  by  students ;  also  a 
theft  of  any  kind ;  specifically,  any- 
thing copied  without  acknowledg- 
ment (1841).  5.  A  bed.  Verb,  (1) 
to  steal,  pilfer ;  used  specifically  of 
petty  thefts  :  see  Prig  (1748).  (2)  To 
use  a  translation ;  to  cheat  at  an 
examination  ;  to  plagiarise.  To  crack 
a  crib,  see  Crack. 

Cribbage  -  face  (and  Cribbage- 
faced).  Pock  -  marked  and  like  a 
cribbage-board,  Colander-faced,  Crum- 
pet -  faced,  Pikelet  -  faced,  Mockered 
(q.v.)  (1785). 

Crib  her.     A  grumbler. 

Cribbeys  (or  Cribby  -  Islands). 
Blind  alleys,  courts,  and  bye-ways. 

Cribbing.  1.  Food  and  drink,  grub 
and  booze  (1656).  2.  Stealing,  pur- 
loining, using  a  translation. 

Crib- biter.  An  inveterate  grum- 
bler. [Properly  a  horse  that  worries 
his  crib,  rack,  manger,  or  groom,  and 
at  the  same  time  draws  in  his  breath 
so  as  to  make  the  peculiar  noise 
called  wind-sucking.]  FT.  gourgousseur, 
un  rcme,  rendcleur,  and  renaudeur. 

Crib-cracker.     A  housebreaker. 

Crib-cracking     Housebrcaking. 

Crikey!  (Cracky!  or  Cry!)  For- 
merly, a  profane  oath  ;  now  a  mere 
expression  of  astonishment.  [A  cor- 
ruption of  '  Christ.'] 

Crimini  (Criminey,  or  Crimes!) 
See  Crikey.  [Possibly  influenced  by 
crimen  meum,  my  fault]  (1700). 

Crimson.  To  make  things  look 
crimson,  to  go  on  a  drunken  frolic, 
paint  the  town  red  (q.v.). 

Crincle  -  pouch.  A  sixpence  :  see 
Bender  (1593). 

Crinkums.     A  venereal  disease. 

Crinoline.     A  woman. 

Cripple.  1.  A  '  snid  '  (Scots)  or 
sixpence:  see  Rhino  (1785).  2.  An 
awkward  oaf,  a  dullard  :  Fr.,  mala- 
patte.  Go  it,  you  cripple*  I  A  sarcastic 
comment  on  strenuous  effort ;  fre- 
quently used  without  much  sense  of 
fitness ;  e.g.  when  the  person  ad- 
dressed is  a  capable  athlete.  Wooden 
legs  are  cheap,  is  sometimes  added  as 
an  intensitive. 

Crisp.     A  banknote  :  see  Rhino. 

Crispin.  A  shoemaker.  [From 
Saints  Crispin  and  Crispianus,  the 
patrons  of  the  '  gentle  craft,'  Le.  shoe- 
making.]  8t.  Crispin's  lance,  an  awL 
Crispin's  holiday,  Monday :  spec.  25th 
of  October,  being  the  anniversary  of 
Crispinus  and  Crispianus. 

Croak.  A  dying  speech,  especially 
the  confession  of  a  murderer.  Also 
the  same  as  printed  for  sale  in  the 
streets  by  a  flying  stationer  (q.v.). 
Verb,  to  die :  see  Hop  the  Twig. 

Croaker.  1.  A  sixpence  :  see  Rhino. 
2.  A  beggar.  3.  A  dying  person.  4. 
A  corpse.  6.  The  flesh  of  an  animal 
which  has  died  a  natural  death.  6. 
A  doctor.  7.  A  person  who  sees 
everything  en  noir,  and  whose  con- 
versation is  likened  to  that  of  the 
raven,  the  bird  of  ill-omen  :  see  Gold- 
smith's Good  Natured  Man.  Fr.,  glas. 

Croakumshire.  Northumberland. 
[Grose  :  from  the  particular  croaking 
in  the  pronunciation  of  the  people  of 
that  county,  especially  about  New- 
castle and  Morpeth,  where  they  are 
said  to  be  born  with  a  burr  in  their 
throats,  which  prevents  their  pro- 
nouncing the  letter  '  r.'] 

Crock.  A  worthless  animal,  a 
fool,  rotter. 

Crocketts  (Winchester  College). 
A  kind  of  bastard  cricket,  sometimes 
called  '  small  crochette.'  Five  stumps 
are  used  and  a  fives  ball,  with  a  bat 
of  plain  deal  about  two  inches  broad, 
or  a  broomstick.  To  get  crocketts,  to 
fail  to  score  at  cricket,  to  make  a 
duck's  egg. 

Crocodile.  A  girl's  school  walk- 
ing two  and  two. 

Crocus  (Crocu  s-  metallorum 
or  Croakus).  A  doctor  ;  specifically, 
a  quack.  English  synonyms:  pill, 
squirt,  butcher,  croaker,  corpse-pro- 
vider, bolus,  clyster,  gallipot.  [Several 
of  these  terms  also=an  apothecary.] 




Crocus-chovey.     A  doctor's  shop. 

Crocus- pitcher.  A  quack  ambulant. 

Crocussing-rig,  subs.  (old). 
Travelling  from  place  to  place  as  a 
quack  doctor. 

Crone.     A  clown  or  buffoon. 

Crook.  1.  A  sixpence  :  see  Rhino. 
2.  A  thief,  swindler,  one  who  gets 
things  on  the  crook.  On  the  crook,  the 
antithesis  of  on  the  straight  (q.v.) :  cf. 
Cross.  To  crook  (or  cock)  the  elbow  (or 
the  little  finger),  to  drink.  [Fr.,  lever 
le  coude ;  a  hard  drinker  is  un  adroit 
du  coude.}  See  Lush. 

Crook-back.  A  sixpenny  piece, 
many  of  the  slang  names  of  which 
suggest  a  bashed  and  battered  ap- 
pearance ;  e.g.  bender,  cripple,  crook  : 
see  Rhino. 

Crooked.  Disappointing,  the 
reverse  of  straight  (q.v.),  pertaining 
to  the  habits,  ways,  and  customs  of 
thieves.  Crooked  as  a  Virginia  (or 
snake)  fence,  uneven,  zig-zag,  said  of 
matters  or  persons  difficult  to  keep 
straight.  To  make  a  Virginia  fence, 
to  walk  unsteadily,  as  a  drunkard. 
Virginia  fences  zigzag  with  the  soil. 

Crooky.  To  hang  on  to,  lead,  walk 
arm-in-arm,  court,  or  pay  addresses 
to  a  girL 

Crop.     See  Crap. 

Cropped.  Hanged :  see  Ladder, 
and  Topped  (1781). 

Cropper.  A  heavy  fall  or  failure 
of  any  kind  ;  generally  '  to  come  a 
cropper.'  [Originally  hunting.] 

Croppie  (or  Croppy).  Originally 
applied  to  a  criminal  cropped  in  ears 
and  nose  by  the  public  executioner ; 
subsequently  to  convicts,  in  allusion  to 
closely  cropped  hair  ;  hence  any  person 
with  hair  cut  close  to  the  head  ;  e.g. 
the  Puritans  and  the  Irish  Rebels  of 

Croppled.  To  be  croppled  (Winches- 
ter College),  to  fail  in  an  examination  ; 
to  be  sent  down  at  a  lesson. 

Croppy.     See  Croppie. 

Crops.  To  go  and  look  at  the  crops, 
to  consult  Mrs.  Jones  (q.v.). 

Cross.  1.  A  pre-arranged  swindle. 
In  its  special  sporting  signification  a 
cross  is  an  arrangement  to  lose  on  the 
part  of  one  of  the  principals  in  a  fight, 
or  any  kind  of  match.  When  both 
principals  conspire  that  one  shall  win, 
it  is  called  a  Double  cross  (q.v.). 
[Obviously  a  shortened  form  of  Cross- 
bite.  2.  A  thief;  also  Cross -man, 

Cross-cove,  Cross-chap,  squire  (knight, 
or  lad)  of  the  cross,  etc.  Literally  a 
man  on  the  cross  (see  sense  1).]  As 
verb,  to  play  false  in  a  match  of  any 
kind.  Hence  to  thwart,  baffle,  spoil 
(1709).  Cross  in  the  air,  a  rifle  carried 
butt-end  upwards.  To  shake  the  cross, 
to  quit  the  cross  (sense  1)  and  go  on 
the  square  (q.v.).  To  be  crossed,  thus 
explained  in  a  University  Guide  : — 
For  not  paying  term  bills  to  the  bur- 
sar (treasurer),  or  for  cutting  chapels, 
or  lectures,  or  other  offences,  an 
undergrad  can  be  crossed  at  the  but- 
tery, or  kitchen,  or  both,  i.e.  a  cross  is 
put  against  his  name  by  the  Don,  who 
wishes  to  see  him,  or  to  punish  him. 
On  the  cross,  the  opposite  of  on  the 
square  (q.v.):  cf.  On  the  crook. 

Cross- belts.  The  Eighth  Hussars. 
[The  regiment  wears  the  sword  belt 
over  the  right  shoulder  in  memory  of 
the  battle  of  Saragossa,  where  it  took 
the  belts  of  the  Spanish  cavalry. 
This  privilege  was  confirmed  by  the 
King's  Regulations  of  1768. 

Cross- bite.  See  Cross- biting.  As 
verb,  to  cheat,  scold,  hoax.  [Nares 
thinks  it  a  compound  of  cross  and 
bite.  It  has  suffered  a  double  ab- 
breviation, both  its  components  being 
used  substantively  and  verbally  in  the 
same  sense.]  See  Stiff  (1581). 

Cross  -  biter.  A  cheat,  swindler, 
hoaxer  :  Fr.,  goureur  (1592). 

Cross- biting.  A  deception,  cheat, 
hoax  (1576). 

Cross- buttock.  A  throw  in  wrest- 
ling. Also  as  verb  and  verbal  subs. 

Cross  -  crib.  A  thieves'  dossing- 
ken  (q.v.) :  or  Lush-crib  (q.v.) :  also 

Cross- fan  (or  Cross- f am).  Robbery 
from  the  person  done  with  one  hand 
(fam)  across,  dissembling  the  action 
of  the  other.  As  verb,  to  rob  from 
the  person. 

Cross  -  kid  (or  Cross- quid).  To 
question,  cross-examine  :  Fr.,  faire  la 
jactance,  also  faire  saigner  du  nez. 

Cross-patch,  subs,  (colloquial). 
An  ill-natured,  ill-tempered  person : 
cf.  old  nursery  rhyme  :  '  Cross-patch, 
draw  the  latch,  Sit  by  the  fire  and 
spin'  (1785). 

Crow.  1.  A  confederate  on 
watch  whilst  another  steals  :  generally 
a  man,  but  occasionally  a  woman : 
the  latter  is  also  called  a  Canary  (q.v.). 




2.  A   piece  of  unexpected   luck ;   a 
duke :     generally     a     regular     crow. 
[Originally   billiards,    in  which   it<=a 
hazard  not  played  for,  i.e.  a  fluke  ;  no 
doubt  a  corruption  of  the  Fr.,  raccroc.] 

3.  A  parson.     To  eat  crow  :  see  Broiled 
crow.     A  crow  to  pluck  (putt,  or  pick) 
with  one,  something  demanding  ex- 
planation :     a    misunderstanding    to 
clear  ;  a  disagreeable  matter  to  settle  : 
sometimes,  a  bone  to  pick  (1593). 

Crowd.     A  fiddle. 

Crowder.  1.  A  large  audience. 
2.  A  fiddler. 

Crow-eater.  A  lazybones  who  pre- 
fers subsisting  upon  what  he  can  pick 
up,  as  crows  do,  to  putting  himself  to 
the  trouble  of  working  for  it. 

Crow- fair.  A  gathering  of  clergy- 

Crown.  To  inspect  a  window  with 
a  view  to  burglary. 

Crown-office.     The  head  (1785). 

Crow's  -  foot.  The  Government 
broad  arrow ;  also  (in  pi.)  wrinkles  at 
the  outside  corners  of  the  eyes. 

Cruel  (or  Cruelly).  Extremely, 
very,  great  (1662). 

Cruelty  -  van  for  Booby  -  hutch). 
A  four-wheeled  chaise. 

Crug  (Christ's  Hospital).  1.  At 
Hertford,  a  crust ;  in  the  London 
school,  crust  and  crumb  alike  (1820). 
Hence,  2.  a  Blue  (q.v.):  especially  an 
old  boy. 

Cruganaler  (Christ's  Hospital).  A 
biscuit  given  on  St.  Matthew's  Day. 
[Orthography  dubious.  Blanch  in- 
clines to  the  following  derivation : 
'  The  biscuit  had  once  something  to  do 
with  those  nights  when  bread  and  beer, 
with  cheese,  were  substituted  for 
bread-and-butter  and  milk.  Thence 
the  term  "  crug  and  aler."  The  only 
argument  against  this  is  the  fact  that 
the  liquid  was  never  dignified  with  the 
name  of  ale,  but  was  invariably  called 
"  the  swipes."  By  another  deriva- 
tion="  hard  as  nails."  It  is  then 
spelt  Cruggy-nailer.'] 

C  r  u  g  g  y  (Christ's  Hospital). 

Cruisers.  1.  Beggars,  or  highway 
spies  :  those  who  traversed  the  road 
(Grose)  to  give  intelligence  of  a 
booty ;  also,  rogues  ready  to  snap 
up  any  booty  that  may  offer.  2.  In 
sing.,  a  street- walker. 

Crumb.  A  pretty  woman:  cf. 

Crumb-and-crust  Man.  A  baker: 
cf.  Burn-crust  and  Master  of  the 
rolls  :  FT.,  marchand  de  larton. 

Crummy.  1.  Fat,  plump,  well- 
developed  :  especially  said  of  high- 
bosomed  and  full  -  figured  women  : 
e.g.  a  crummy  piece  of  goods. 
Fr.,  fort  en  mie  (an  almost  literal 
translation)  (1748).  2.  (American), 
comely.  3.  Lousy.  Hence,  Crummy- 
dost,  a  lousy  bed.  4.  (thieves'). 
Plump  in  the  pockets. 

Crump  (Winchester  College). 
A  hard  hit,  a  fall :  as  a  verb,  to  cob 

Crumpet.  The  head.  English 
synonyms :  brain-pan,  nut,  chump, 
jazey,  steeple,  tib  or  tibby,  weather- 
cock, turnip,  upper  extremity,  top 
end,  twopenny,  upper  storey,  canister, 
attic,  garret,  costard,  sconce,  bonce, 
nob,  lolly,  lobb,  knowledge-box,  block, 
cocoa-nut,  Crown  -  Office,  calabash, 
top-knot,  crust,  chimney-pot,  onion, 
chevy,  cockloft,  top-fiat,  gable,  pump- 
kin, hat-peg,  billiard  ball,  upper-orust, 
mazzard,  cabaza,  dome.  Balmy  in 
one's  crumpet :  see  Balmy. 

Crumpet-face.  A  pock-pitted  face, 
a  cribbage-face  (q.v.). 

Crumpet- scramble.  A  tea  party, 
tea-fight,  muffin-worry,  muffin-fight, 
bitch-party,  or  cooky-shine  (q.v.). 

C  rum  pier.     1.  A  cravat     2.  A  falL 

Crush.  A  large  social  gathering 
(1854).  As  verb,  to  run  away,  de- 
camp: see  Bunk.  To  crush  down 
sides,  to  keep  tryst,  also  to  run  to  a 
place  of  safety.  To  crush  (or  burst) 
a  pot  (cup,  or  bottle)  to  drink  in  com- 

Crusher.  1.  A  policeman :  cf. 
Crush  !  once  a  favourite  signal  of  the 
pea,  thimble,  and  other  race-course 
sharps  warning  of  the  approach  of  the 
police.  2.  Anything  large,  fine,  or 
extraordinary :  cf.  Whopper,  Stinger, 
Corker,  Bouncer,  etc.  (q.v.). 

Crushing.     Excellent,  first-rate. 

Crust  (or  Upper  Crust).  The 
head :  see  Crumpet.  Upper-crust  (q.v.). 

Crusty- beau.  One  that  uses  paint 
and  cosmetics  to  obtain  a  fine  com- 
plexion (Grose). 

Cry.  A  large  number,  a  quantity. 
[From  cry,  a  pack  of  dogs.]  Great 
cry  and  little  wool,  much  ado  about 
nothing.  The  original  text  of  the 
proverb  was,  Great  cry  and  little  wool, 
as  the  devil  said  when  he  sheared  the 



Curbstone- sailor. 

hogs.  Hudibras  alters  it  into  All 
cry  and  no  wool.  To  cry  carrots  and 
turnips,  a  term  which  rogues  use  for 
whipping  at  the  cart's  arse  (Johnson, 
1747).  To  cry  (or  call)  a  go,  to  give  in, 
as  one  unable  to  proceed.  An  ex- 
pression borrowed  from  cribbage  signi- 
fying that  the  player  who  makes  use 
of  it  has  nothing  playable  in  his  hand, 
and  is  compelled  to  cry  a  go.  To 
cry  cupboard,  to  be  famished,  hungry, 
banded  (q.v.) :  FT.,  rien  dans  le  cornet, 
le  buffet  vide,  and  danser  devant  le 
buffet.  Cry  matches  !  an  exclamation 
of  surprise.  [Variously  derived:  (1) 
a  corruption  of  '  Crime  hatches  ' ;  (2) 
cry=XPI  or  Christ,  no  suggestion 
being  offered  to  account  for '  matches' ; 
and  (3)  a  conversion  of  the  FT.  ere 
matin,  presumably  Canadian :  cf. 
Crimini.]  To  cry  off,  to  retreat,  back 
out  from  an  engagement.  See  Stink- 
ing fish. 

C.T.A.  (Circus  and  showmen's). 
The  police. 

Cub  (or  Unlicked-cub).  An  awk- 
ward, e^lky  girl;  a  mannerless,  uncouth 
lout  of  a  boy.  [In  allusion  to  the 
supposed  shapelessness  of  bear  cubs 
till  their  dam  has  '  licked  them  into 

Cubitopolis.  The  Warwick  and 
Eccleston  Square  districts.  [From  the 
name  of  the  builders.]  Cf.  Alberto- 
polis,  Mesopotamia,  Asia  Minor,  The 
New  Jerusalem,  Slopers'  Island,  etc. 

Cuckoo.  1.  A  fool:  see  Buffle. 
(1598).  2.  A  cuckold  (1594).  3.  In 
pi.,  generic  for  money :  see  Rhino. 

Cucumber-time.  The  dull  season. 
[A  correspondent  of  Notes  and  Queries 
says  it  is  of  German  origin,  and 
originated  among  London  tailors  of 
German  nationality.  The  German 
phrase  is  die  saure  Ourken  Zeit  (pickled 
gherkin-time).  Hence,  it  is  said,  the 
expression  '  Tailors  are  vegetarians,' 
because  they  live  now  on  '  cucumber  ' 
and  now  on  '  cabbage']  (Orose). 

Cud.  A  chew  of  tobacco,  a  quid. 
As  adj.,  (Winchester  College).  1. 
Pretty,  handsome.  2.  (Christ's  Hos- 
pital), severe :  see  Cuddy. 

Cuddie.     A  donkey. 

Cuddling.     Wrestling. 

Cuddy  (Christ's  Hospital). 
Hard,  difficult,  said  of  a  lesson.  Also 
Hertfordic6  for  Passy  (q.v.). 

Cue.     To  swindle  on  credit. 

Cuff.  1.  A  foolish  old  man.  Prob- 
ably a  contraction  of  Cuffin  (q.v.) 
(1678).  2.  (tailors').  A  religious  man. 
To  cuff  Anthony :  see  Anthony.  To 
beat  or  cuff  Jonas  :  see  Beat. 

Cuff  er.  1.  A  lie,  an  exaggerated 
and  improbable  story.  Hence,  to 
spin  cuffers,  to  yarn,  draw  the  long 
bow  (q.v.).  2.  A  man  :  see  Cove. 

C  u  ffi  n  (C  u  ff  e  n,  or  Cuffing).  A 
man  (Harmon,  1567).  Queer-cuffin,  a 
magistrate  (1609). 

Cuff  -  shooter.  A  beginner,  one 
who  gives  himself  airs ;  literally  one 
who  shoots  his  cuffs  :  having  a  greater 
regard  for  the  display  of  his  linen  than 
for  his  work. 

Cule  (Cull,  Culing,  Culling). 
To  purloin :  eepec.  from  the  seats  of 
carriages  ;  the  act  of  snatching  hand- 
bags and  other  articles.  [Probably  an 
abbreviation  of  reticule.] 

Cull  (or  Cully).  A  man,  com 
panion,  partner.  Specifically,  a  fool, 
one  tricked  or  imposed  upon.  Grose 
seems  to  make  a  distinction,  for  he 
quotes  cull  = '  a  man  honest  or  other- 
wise,' and  cuDy  = '  a  fop,  fool,  or  dupe 
to  women,'  in  which  sense  it  was  cur- 
rent in  the  seventeenth  century.  Hum 
cull,  the  manager  of  a  theatre ;  also 
a  Cully-gorger. 

Culls.     The  testes  ( 1 600). 

Culminate.  To  mount  a  coach-bol 

Cummer.     An  intimate. 

Cup-and-saucer  Player.  A  term  of 
derision  applied  to  players  of  the  late 
T.  W.  Robertson's  comedies. 

Cupboard-love.  Interested  affec- 
tion :  cf.  old  saw,  The  way  to  a  man's 
heart  is  through  his  stomach  (1661). 

Cups.  In  one's  cups,  drunk :  cf. 
Cup-shot  and  Screwed  (1593). 

Cup-tosser.     A  juggler. 

Curate.  A  small  poker,  or 
tickler  (q.v.),  used  to  save  a  better 
one ;  also  a  pocket-handkerchief  in 
actual  use  as  against  a  flimsy  one  worn 
for  show.  The  better  article  is  a 
Rector.  Similarly  when  a  tea-cake 
is  split  and  buttered,  the  bottom  half, 
which  gets  the  more  butter,  is  the 
Rector,  and  the  upper  half  the  Curate. 

Curb.     To  steal :  see  Prig.     (1615). 

Curbstone  -  broker.  See  Gutter- 

Curbstone- sailor.  A  prostitute :  see 




Cure,  subs,  (common).  An  eccen- 
tric, fool,  funny  fellow.  Originally 
applied  in  many  connections,  we 
Punch,  xzxL  201  (1856). 

Curious.  To  do  curious,  to  act 

Curl.  Out  of  curl,  out  of  aorta ; 
out  of  condition.  To  curl  up,  to  be 
silent,  '  shut  up.'  To  curl  one's  Jiair, 
to  administer  chastisement,  '  go  for  ' 
one.  To  curl  one's  liver  (or  to  have 
one's  liver  curled),  to  make  one  feel 

Curie.  Clippings  of  money 

Curl-paper.  Paper  for  the  W.C., 
toilet  paper,  '  wipe  -  bummatory  ' 
(Urquhart),  or  '  sanitary '  paper, 
bumfodder,  bumf,  ammunition. 

Curly  cues  (or  Carlicues).  Fantastic 
ornaments  worn  on  the  person  or  used 
in  architecture ;  also,  by  implication, 
a  strange  line  of  conduct. 

Currants  -  and  -  plums.  A  three- 
penny bit,  thrums  (q.v.). 

Currency.  A  colonist  born  in 
Australia,  those  of  English  birth  being 
sterling  (q.v.). 

Curse.  Not  to  care  (or  be  worth)  a 
curse,  to  care  (or  be  worth)  little— or 
nothing  at  all  (1362). 

Curse-of-God.  A  cockade  (Lexicon 

Curse  of  Scotland.  The  nine  of 
diamonds.  The  suggested  derivations 
are  inconclusive.  [The  locution  has 
nothing  to  do  with  Culloden  and  the 
Duke  of  Cumberland,  for  the  card  was 
nicknamed  the  Justice-Clerk,  in  al- 
lusion to  the  Lord  Justice-Clerk 
Ormistone,  who,  for  his  severity  in 
suppressing  the  Rebellion  of  1715,  was 
called  the  Curse  of  Scotland.  Other 
suggestions  are  :  ( 1 )  That  it  is  derived 
from  the  game  of  Pope  Joan,  the  nine 
of  diamonds  there  (being  called  the 
'pope,'  of  which  the  Scotch  have 
always  stood  in  horror.  (2)  The 
word  '  curse '  is  a  corruption  of  cross, 
and  the  nine  of  diamonds  is  so  ar- 
ranged as  to  form  a  St.  Andrew's 
Cross.  (3)  That  it  refers  to  the  arms 
of  Dalrymple,  Earl  of  Stair  (viz.  or, 
on  saltire  azure,  nine  lozenges  of  the 
field),  who  was  held  in  abhorrence  for 
the  massacre  of  Glencoe  ;  or  to  Colonel 
Packer,  who  attended  Charles  I.  on  the 
scaffold,  and  had  for  his  arms  nine 
lozenges  conjoined,  or  in  the  heraldic 
language,  gules,  a  cross  of  lozenges. 

These  conflicting  views  were  discussed 
at  length  in  Notes  and  Queries,  1  8., 
L  61,  90 ;  iii.  22,  253,  423,  483  ;  v. 
619 ;  3  S.,  xii.  24,  96 ;  4  S.,  vi.  194, 
289 ;  also,  see  Chambers'  Encyclopaedia.] 

Cursitor  (or  Cursetor).  A  tramp  or 

Curtain  -  raiser.  A  short  '  piece  ' 
to  bring  up  the  curtain :  Fr.,  lever  de 

Curtail  (or  Curtail).  A  vagabond 
or  thief  :  '  A  curtail  is  much  like  to  the 
Vpright  man,  but  hys  authority  is  not 
fully  so  great.  He  vseth  commonly  to 
go  with  a  short  cloke,  like  to  grey 
Friars,  and  his  woman  with  him  in  like 
liuery,  which  he  calleth  his  altham  if 
she  be  hys  '  (Awddey,  1560).  '  Thieves 
who  cut  off  pieces  of  stuff  hanging  out 
of  shop  windows  ;  the  tails  of  women's 
gowns,  etc.  ;  also  thieves  wearing 
short  jackets  '  (Grose,  1785).  As  verb, 
to  cut  off. 

Cuse  (Winchester  College).  A 
book  in  which  a  record  is  kept  of  the 
'  marks  '  in  each  division  :  its  name  to 
dons  is  '  classicus  paper  '  ;  also  used 
for  the  weekly  order. 

Cushion.  To  hide,  conceal,  Stall 
off  (q.v.),  Stow  (q.v.),  Slum  (q.v.). 
To  deserve  the  cushion,  on  the  birth  of 
a  child  a  man  was  said  to  deserve  the 
cushion ;  i.e.  the  symbol  of  rest  from 

Cushion  -  smiter  (or  -  thumper). 
A  clergyman. 

Cuss.  A  man,  Cove  (q.v.),  or  Cull 
(q.v.) :  generally,  but  not  necessarily, 
disparaging.  To  cuss  out,  to  talk 
down,  flummox  by  the  lip  (q.v.). 

Cussedness.  Generally  in  such 
phrases  as,  pure  cussedness,  the  cus- 
sednees  of  things,  etc.  Mischievous- 
ness,  or  resolution,  or  courage  may 
be  implied  ;  but  in  the  Coventry  plays 
cursyanesse  signified  sheer  wickedness 
and  malignity. 

Customer.  A  man,  fellow,  cove, 
cuss,  or  chap :  with  a  certain  qualifi- 
cation, e.g.  an  ugly  customer  =  a 
dangerous  opponent ;  a  queer  customer 
=a  suspicious  person,  one  to  be  sus- 
pected ;  a  rum  customet  =  an  odd 

Custom-house  Officer.  An 
aperient  piU  :  cf.  Chimney-sweep. 

Cut.  1.  A  stage  or  degree :  e.g. 
a  cut  above  one.  2.  A  refusal  to 
acknowledge  acquaintance,  or  to 
associate  with  another  person  ;  a  snub. 




A  cut  direct  (or  dead  cut)  is  a  conspicu- 
ous non-acknowledgment  of  an  ac- 
quaintance. 3.  Mutilation  of  the 
book  of  a  play,  opera,  etc.  (1779). 
As  adj.,  tipsy  ;  on  the  cut,  on  the  spree  : 
see  Screwed  (1748).  As  verb,  1.  To  talk 
(1567):  To  cut  benle,  to  speake 
gentle  ;  to  cut  bene  whydds,  to  speake 
or  give  good  words ;  to  cutte  quyer 
whyddes,  to  geue  euil  words  or  evil 
language.  2.  To  disown,  ignore,  or 
avoid  associating  with,  a  person : 
sometimes  cut  dead.  An  article  in 
the  Monthly  Magazine  for  1798  cites 
cut  as  a  current  peculiarity  of  ex- 
pression, and  says  that  some  had  tried 
to  change  it  into  '  spear,'  but  had 
failed.  3.  To  depart  more  or  less 
hurriedly  and  perforce.  Also  to  cut 
and  run,  cut  it,  cut  one's  lucky,  cut 
one's  stick,  cut  off,  cut  away,  etc. 
[Originally  nautical — to  cut  the  cable 
and  run  before  the  wind.]  (1570). 
4.  To  compete  in  business  ;  to  under- 
sell. A  cutting  trade  is  one  where 
profits  are  reduced  to  a  minimum. 
Also  cut  under.  5.  To  excel.  Also 
cut  out.  6.  To  strike  out  portions  of 
a  dramatic  production,  so  as  to  shorten 
it  for  representation.  7.  To  avoid, 
absent  oneself  from.  Thus,  to  cut 
lecture,  to  cut  chapel,  to  cut  hall,  to  cut 
gates  (1794)  are  common  phrases.  To 
cut  a  caper  or  capers,  to  play  a  trick  or 
prank,  behave  boisterously  or  fan- 
tastically ( 1 692).  To  cut  a  dash,  splash 
(or  shine),  to  make  a  show,  attract  at- 
tention through  some  idiosyncrasy  of 
manner,  appearance,  or  conduct.  In 
the  United  States  to  cut  a  splurge  (or 
a  swathe),  Fr.,  flamber,  faire  du  flafla, 
and  faire  flouer  (1771).  To  cut  a 
figure,  to  make  an  appearance,  good 
or  bad  (1759).  To  cut  and  come  again, 
to  have  plenty  :  i.e.  if  one  cut  does 
not  suffice,  plenty  remains  to  come 
at  again  (1738).  To  cut  (or  cut  up) 
didoes  (shindies,  shines,  etc.),  to  play 
pranks  or  tricks,  to  cut  capers.  To 
cut  dirt  (or  cut  one's  stick,  lucky),  to 
make  off,  escape.  To  cut  fine,  to 
narrow  down  to  a  minimum.  To  cut 
in,  to  join  in  suddenly  and  without 
ceremony,  intrude,  chip  in  (q.v.). 
Also  substantively  (1819).  To  cut 
into  (Winchester  College),  originally 
to  hit  one  with  a  '  ground  ash.'  The 
office  was  exercised  by  Bible-clerks 
upon  a  '  man  '  kicking  up  a  row  when 
'  up  to  books.'  Now  generally  used  in 

the  sense  of  to  correct  in  a  less  formal 
manner  than  Tunding  (q.v.).  To 
cut  it,  to  move  off  quickly,  run  away, 
cut  dirt  (q.v.).  As  intj.,  Cease ! 
Stow  it!  Stash  it!  A  forcible 
injunction  to  desist  and  be  off.  Also 
cut  that  !  or  simply  cut  I  To  cut  it  fat, 
to  show  off,  make  a  display,  come  it 
strong,  put  on  side,  cut  a  dash  (q.v.). 
To  cut  mutton,  to  partake  of  one's 
hospitality,  to  break  bread  with  one. 
To  cut  off  one's  head  (American  polit- 
ical) used  of  an  official  when  his  term 
of  office  has  come  to  an  end  through 
change  of  Government,  or  superces- 
sion  in  other  ways.  The  cut  of  one's 
jib,  the  general  appearance.  To  cut 
one's  cart,  to  expose  a  trick.  To  cut 
one's  comb,  to  snub,  lower  conceit 
(1593).  To  cut  one's  eyes,  to  get 
suspicious.  To  cut  one's  eye  (or  wis- 
dom) teeth,  to  learn  what's  what.  To 
cut  one's  own  grass,  to  get  one's  own 
living,  paddle  one's  own  canoe.  To 
cut  out,  to  debar,  deprive  of  advan- 
tage, supersede  (1779).  To  cut  out  of, 
to  do  out  of.  To  cut  saucy  :  see  Saucy. 
To  cut  short  (generally  cut  it  short !)  a 
common  injunction  not  to  be  prolix, 
Stow  it !  To  cut  the  line  (rope,  or 
string),  to  cut  a  story  short,  stop 
yarning.  To  cut  the  painter  (1)  to 
decamp,  make  off — secretly  and  sud- 
denly. (2)  To  die  :  see  Hop  the  twig. 
To  cut  up,  to  run  down,  to  mortify 
(1759).  (2)  To  come  up,  turn  up, 
become,  show  up.  (3)  To  divide 
plunder,  to  share,  to  nap  the  regulars 
(1779).  (4)  To  behave.  To  cut  up 
fat,  to  leave  a  large  fortune  ( 1 824).  To 
cut  up  rough  (rusty,  savage,  stiff,  ugly), 
to  become  quarrelsome  or  dangerous. 
To  be  cut  up,  to  be  vexed,  hurt,  de- 
jected :  sometimes  simply  cut.  For- 
merly, to  be  in  embarrassed  circum- 
stances (1821). 

Cut-away.  A  morning  coat.  [As 
compared  with  a  frock  coat.] 

Cute.  Sharp,  clever,  '  fly  to  wot's 
wot.'  Fr.,  avoir  le  nez  creux  (1748). 

Cuts.  Scissors.  8matt-cuts=s 
button-hole  scissors. 

Cutter.  A  thief,  bully.  This 
ancient  cant  word  now  survives  in 
the  phrase,  to  swear  like  a  cutter 

Cutting.  1.  The  process  of  under- 
selling ;  competition  of  the  keenest 
kind.  2.  Disowning  or  ignoring  a 




A  knife 

Cutty  -  eyed. 

(or    Cuttle- bung), 
used      by     cut  -  purses 

Suspicious  looking, 

Cutty.  A  short  pipe,  a  nose- 
warmer (q.v.). 

C  u  z.  A  workman  free  of  the 
*  chapel.' 

Cymbal.    A  watch. 

D.  1.  A  penny,  or  (in  pi.)  pence  ; 
e.g.  two  d,  three  d,  etc.,=two-pence, 
three- pence,  etc.  2.  A  detective ; 
among  thieves,  any  policeman.  To 
use  a  big  d,  to  swear  ;  the  d  stands  for 
damned.  The  two  fa,  army  regula- 
tions enact  that  a  soldier's  pay  must 
not  be  so  docked  in  fines  as  to  leave 
him  less  than  two  -  pence  a  day. 
Hence,  if  a  man,  from  any  cause,  is 
put  on  short  pay,  he  is  said  to  be  on 
the  tun  fs. 

Dab.  1.  An  expert,  a  dabster. 
[Thought  to  be  a  corruption  of  adept 
(Latin  odeptus)  a  dep  ;  a  dap  ;  a  dab.] 
Cf.  dabbler,  one  who  meddles 
without  mastery ;  a  superficial  med- 
dler. Fr.,  dob,  dobe,  or  dode  (1733). 
2.  A  bed,  bug-walk,  kip.  3.  The 
drowned  corpse  of  an  outcast  woman. 
4.  A  trifle  (1745).  As  adj.,  1.  Clever, 
skilled,  expert.  2.  Bad.  A  dobheno, 
a  bad  market,  day,  or  sale.  Doogheno 
=a  good  day,  etc.  ;  dob  frcw=.bad 
sort.  JRum-dobe,  the  same  as  doh, 
subs.,  sense  1  :  see  Rum.  To  dob 
down,  to  pay,  hand  over,  poet, 
shell  out.  To  dob  it  up,  to  pair  off ; 
to  agree  to  cohabitation. 

Dabster.     An  ex  pert  or  ddb(  q.v.). 

Dace.  Two-pence  ;  in  America, 
two  cents.  [From  deuce.] 

Dacha-saltee.  A  franc;  ortenpence 
English.  [From  the  Italian  died 

Dad  binged  (also  -  blamed,  -fetched) , 
gasted,  -goned,  -rotted,  or  -snatched 
(American),  half-veiled  oaths,  '  whips 
to  beat  the  devil  round  the  stump. 

Dad-dad,  (Mum-mum  or  Daddy- 
mammy).  A  beginner's  practice  on  the 

Daddle.  The  hand  ;  or  fist.  To 
tip  the  doddle,  to  shake  hands.  English 
synonyms :  chalk-farm,  claw,  clutch, 
cornstealer,  duke,  fam,  famble,  feeler, 
fin,  flapper,  flipper,  forceps,  forefoot, 
fork,  grappling-iron  (or  hook),  goll 
(old),  oar,  paddle,  palette,  paw,  pber, 
shaker,  wing,  Yarmouth  mitten. 

Daddy.  1.  The  superintendent  of  a 
casual  ward  ;  generally  an  old  pauper. 
2.  A  stage  manager.  3.  A  confederate 
of  workers  of  mock  raffles,  lotteries, 
etc.  ;  generally  the  person  selected  to 
receive  the  prize. 

Daddyism.  (American).  Pride  of 

Daffy  (or  Daffy's  Elixir).  Gin. 
[From  a  popular  medicine  sold  as 
early  as  the  beginning  of  the  eighteenth 

Daffy  -  down  -  dilly.  A  dandy, 
one  '  got  up  regardless.' 

Dagen.     An  artful  member. 

Dagger  -  cheap.  Dirt  cheap. 
[From  an  ordinary  of  low  repute  in 
Holborn,  notorious  for  the  coarseness 
of  its  entertainment  (see  Johnson's 
Alchemist,  v.  2,  and  Devil  is  an  Ass,  i. 


Dags.  A  feat,  performance,  work, 
e.g.  1 11  do  your  dags=.&r\  incitement 
to  emulation. 

Daily  Levy  (The}.  The  Daily  Tde- 
graph.  [This  London  daily  is  the 
property  of  Mr.  Edward  LevyLawson.] 

Dairy.  The  paps.  To  air  the 
dairy=to  expose  the  breast.  Eng- 
lish synonyms:  bubs  (or  bubbles), 
charlies,  blubber,  butter-boxes,  but- 
ter-bags, berkeleys,  cat-heads,  diddies, 
globes,  dugs,  milk-walk,  milk-shop, 
milky  way,  dumplings,  udder  (Brown- 
ing), '  Nature's  founts  ',  feeding  bot- 
tles, charms,  hemispheres,  apple- 
dumpling  shop,  meat  market,  poonts, 
titties,  cabman's  rests  (rhyming), 
baby's  bottom. 

Daisies.  Boots :  also  Daisy- 
roots.  To  turn  up  one's  toes  to  the 
daisies,  to  die  :  see  Hop  the  twig. 

Daisy.  A  man  or  thing  first-rate 
of  a  kind.  As  adj.,  first-rate,  Al. 

Daisy- beat.     See  Beat 

Daisy- beaters.     See  Creepers. 

Daisy-cutter.  1.  A  horse,  good  or 
bad  :  also  daisy-kicker  :  Fr.,  rase  tapis 
(1785).  2.  A  ball  bowled  to  travel 
more  than  half  the  pitch  along  the 


Daisy -kicker. 


ground  without  rising,  a  sneak, 
and  (Wykehamice),  a  ramrod. 

Daisy-kicker.  1.  A  horse.  2.  An 
ostler  (1781). 

Daisy  -  roots.      Boots.     To  pick  a 

lisy,  to  evacuate  in  the  open. 

Daisyville.  The  country,  the 
monkery  :  also  Deuseaville  (1622). 

Dakma.     To  silence. 

Darn.  To  care  or  be  worth  not  a 
dam,  to  care  or  be  worth  nothing. 

Damage.  The  cost  of  anything, 
the  sum  total  in  the  sense  of  recom- 
pense. What's  the  damage  (or 
swindle)  ?  What's  to  pay  ?  (1800). 

Damaged.  Drunk,  Screwed  (q.v.). 

Damber.  A  man,  Cove,  or  Cull,  in 
the  fraternity  of  vagabonds. 

Damme  (Dammy  or  Dammy-boy). 
A  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  century 
roysterer,  a  blusterer. 

Dam  -  nasty  Oath  (American).  A 
corruption  of  amnesty  oath.  [South- 
erners, at  the  close  of  the  Civil  War, 
were  required,  as  an  outward  sign  of 
submission  to  the  Union,  to  subscribe 
to  certain  conditions,  upon  which  a 
free  pardon  was  granted.  The  terms 
were  deemed  unpalatable.] 

Damned  -  soul.  A  Custom  House 
clearing  clerk.  [To  avoid  perjury  he 
was  alleged  to  have  taken  a  general 
oath  never  to  swear  truly  in  making 
declarations.]  (Lexicon  Balatroni- 
cum,  1811). 

Damp  (generally  Something  damp). 
A  drink,  go  (q.v.).  To  damp  one's 
mug,  to  drink :  see  Lush.  To  damp 
the  sawdust,  to  crack  a  bottle  with 
friends  for  luck  on  starting  a  new 

Damper.  1.  A  till,  Lob  (q.v.). 
Drawing  a  damper,  robbing  a  till, 
Lob-sneaking.  2.  A  sweater ;  one  who 
takes  as  much  as  possible  out  of  work- 
men for  a  minimum  of  pay.  3.  He  or 
that  which  damps,  chills,  or  dis- 
courages. 4.  Ale  or  stout  after  spirits 
and  water,  a  Cooler  (q.v.).  5.  A 
snack  between  meals.  6.  A  suet 
pudding  served  before  meat.  7.  Un- 
leavened bread  made  of  flour  and 
water  and  baked  in  thin  cakes,  in  a 
frying  pan  or  on  a  flat  stone  in  wood 
ashes  (Australian). 

Damp- pot.  The  sea  ;  specifically 
the  Atlantic. 

Damson-pie.  A  Birmingham 
and  '  black  country '  term  for  '  Bil- 

Dance.  A  staircase,  flight  of  steps : 
a  contraction  of  the  older  form — 
Dancers.  As  verb,  1.  To  be  hanged  : 
also  to  dance  upon  nothing,  and  to 
dance  the  Paddington  frisk :  see 
Ladder.  2.  Type  dances  if  letters 
drop  out  when  the  forme  is  lifted. 
To  dance  Barnaby,  see  Barnaby. 

Dance  of  Death.     Hanging. 

Dancers.  1.  Stairs,  flight  of 
steps:  Fr.,  les  grimpants  (1671).  2. 
(sing.)  Also  dancing  master.  A  thief 
whose  speciality  is  prowling  about  the 
roofs  of  houses  and  effecting  an 
entrance  through  attic  and  upper 
storey  windows  ;  a  garreteer  (q.v.) : 
also  dancing -master. 

Dancing-master.  1.  A  species  of 
Mohock  or  dandy,  temp.  Queen  Anne. 
[Who  made  his  victims  caper  by 
running  his  sword  through  the  legs ; 
for  detailed  description,  see  Spectator 
(1712),  No.  324.]  2.  See  Dancers, 
sense  2.  3.  The  hangman,  Jack 
Ketch  (q.v.). 

D-and-D.   Drunk  and  disorderly. 

Dander.  Anger.  To  raise  one's 
dander  (or  get  one's  dander  up,  or  riz), 
to  make  or  get  angry.  Hence  Dan- 
dered,  angry,  mad. 

D  a  n  d  o.  A  great  eater,  glutton, 
wolfer  ;  specifically  a  sharper  who  sub- 
sits  at  the  expense  of  hotels,  restaur- 
ants, or  oyster  bars.  [From  one 
Dando,  a  bouncing,  seedy  swell, 
hero  of  a  hundred  ballads,  notorious 
for  being  charged  at  least  twice  a 
month  with  bilking.] 

Dandy  (formerly  slang,  now  re- 
cognized). 1.  A  fop,  coxcomb,  man 
who  pays  excessive  attention  to  dress. 
The  feminine  forms,  '  dandilly  '  and 
'  dandizette,'  did  not  catch  on. 
Dandy  was  first  applied  half  in  admira- 
tion, half  in  derision  to  a  fop  about  the 
year  1816.  John  Bee  (Slang  Diet., 
1823)  says  that  Lord  Petersham  was 
the  chief  of  these  successors  to  the 
departed  Macaronis,  and  gives,  as 
their  peculiarities,  '  French  gait, 
lispings,  wrinkled  foreheads,  killing 
king's  English,  wearing  immense 
plaited  pantaloons,  coat  cut  away, 
small  waistcoat,  cravat  and  chitter- 
lings immense,  hat  small,  hair  frizzled 
and  protruding.'  In  common  English 
dandy  has  come  to  be  applied  to  such 
as  are  neat  and  careful  in  dress- 
ing according  to  fashion.  English 
synonyms :  beau,  blade,  blood,  buck, 




chappie,  corinthian,  count,  court-card, 
cheese,  daffy-down-dilly,  dancing- 
master,  dude,  dundreary,  exquisite, 
flasher,  fop,  gallant,  gommy,  gorger, 
Jemmy  Jessamy,  Johnny,  lounger, 
macaroni,  masher,  mohawk,  nerve, 
nicker,  nizzie,  nob,  oatmeal,  scourer, 
smart,  spark,  sweater,  swell,  toff,  tip- 
topper,  tumbler,  yum-yum.  2.  A 
base  gold  coin.  [In  allusion  to  its 
careful  make  and  composition,  this 
coin  containing  a  certain  proportion 
of  pure  gold.]  3.  A  '  small  whisky.' 
4.  Anything  first-rate;  a  Daisy  (q.v.). 
Also  used  adjectively.  The  Dandy,  all 
right,  your  sort,  the  ticket :  a  north- 
country  song  has  the  line,  '  The  South 
Shields  lasses  are  The  Dandy  0 1 ' 

Dandy-master.  The  head  of  a  gang 
of  counterfeiters,  one  who  makes  the 
coin  but  does  not  himself  attempt  to 
pass  it :  see  Dandy  2. 

Dandypratt  for  Dandipratt).  Prim- 
arily a  dwarf,  page ;  by  implica- 
tion a  jackanapes.  In  all  likelihood, 
the  etymon  of  the  modern  '  dandy,' 
erroneously  derived  from  the  French 
dandin,  a  fool,  as  in  Moliere,  Georges 
Dandin  (1580). 

Dang  it  I  A  euphemism  for  Damn 
it !  Also  Dang  my  buttons  I  and 
Dang  me  I 

Danglers.     A  bunch  of  seals. 

Dan  Tucker.     Butter. 

Darbies.  1.  Handcuffs.  English 
synonyms :  black-bracelets,  buckles, 
Father  Derbie's  bands,  ruffles,  wife, 
snitchers,  clinkers,  government  se- 
curities, twisters,  darbies  and  Joans 
( =  fetters  coupling  two  persons).  2. 
Sausages,  bags  of  mystery,  chambers 
of  horrors  (q.v.). 

D  a  r  b  1  e.  The  devil.  [A  corrup- 
tion of  French  diable.] 

Darby.  Ready  money.  [One 
Derby  is  supposed  to  have  been  a 
noted  sixteenth  century  usurer.] 

Darby  Allen  (Lancashire).  Ca- 
jolery, chaff,  gammon. 

Darby  -  roll.  A  gait  peculiar  to 
felons  of  long  standing  :  the  result  of 
shackles- wearing. 

Darby's  -  dyke.  The  grave  ;  also 

Darby's-fair.  The  day  of  removal 
from  one  prison  to  another  for  trial. 

Dark.  To  get  the  dark,  to  be  con- 
fined in  the  punishment  cell. 

Dark-cull  (or  -cully).  A  married 
man  with  a  secret  mistress  (Orose). 

Dark-horse  (or  Dark'un).  A  horse 
whose  pace  is  unknown  to  the  backers ; 
figuratively,  one  about  whom  little  is 

Dark-house,  subs.  (old).  A  mad- 
house. Shakespeare  (Alfa  Well,  etc., 
n.  iii.)  used  it  to  denote  the  seat  of 
gloom  and  discontent. 

Darkmans  (Darks,  Darky).  The 
night,  twilight  (1567).  English  syno- 
nyms: blackmans,  bund,  blindman's 
holiday  (twilight). 

Darkman's  -  budge.  A  burglar's 
confederate :  he  slips  into  a  house 
during  the  day,  hides  there,  and  opens 
the  door  at  night  (Grose). 

Darky  (or  Darkey).  1.  A  dark 
lantern,  bull's  eye.  2.  The  night, 
twilight:  also  (nautical)  Darks.  3, 
A  negro  :  see  Snowball. 

Darn  (Darned).  Euphemistic  for 
damn  and  damned ;  used  to 
avoid  '  cussing  bar' -foot.'  Also  Dor- 
nation,  Dangnation,  Darn  burn  it, 
and  Darn  (or  Dash)  my  buttons  (or 

Dart.     A  straight-armed  blow. 

D.A.'s.  The  menstrual  flux:  an 
abbreviation  of  Domestic  afflictions 

Dash.  1.  A  tavern  waiter.  2.  (com- 
mon). A  small  quantity,  a  drink ; 
a  go  (q.v.).  Also  a  small  quantity 
of  one  fluid  to  give  a  flavour  to  another 
e.g.  a  lemon  and  a  dash,  a  bottle  of 
lemonade  with  just  a  suggestion  of 
bitter  beer  in  it.  As  verb,  to  adulterate 
Dash  it  I  (or  dash  my  buttons,  wig, 
timbers,  etc.)  Expletives  employed 
euphemistically,  i.e.  to  damn.  To 
cut  a  dash :  see  Cut.  To  have  a  dash 
on,  to  speculate  largely  or  wildly,  to 
go  it  strong. 

Dasher.  1.  A  showy  prostitute. 
(1790).  2.  An  ostentatious  or  extra- 
vagant man  or  woman,  an  impetuous 
person,  a  clipper ;  also  latterly,  a 
man  or  woman  of  fashion,  a  person  of 
brilliant  qualities,  mental  or  physical : 
Fr.,  genreux-se. 

Daub.  1.  An  artist  2.  A  bad 

David.  1.  See  Davy.  2.  (Ameri- 
can). A  torpedo. 

David's  Sow.  Drunk  as  David's 
(or  Davy's)  sow,  beastly  drunk :  see 

Davy.  1.  An  affidavit:  e.g.  So 
help  (or  s'wdp)  me  davy,  or  Alfred 
Davy  (q.v.):  Fr.,  Je  fen  foiu  mon 




billet  or  mon  petit  turlututu,  I'll  take 
my  davy  on  it  (1764).  Davy  Jones, 
Davy,  or  Old  Davy,  the  spirit  of  the 
sea,  specifically  the  sailor's  devil 
(1751).  Whence,  Davy  Jones'  locker, 
the  ocean,  specifically,  the  grave  of 
them  that  perish  at  sea.  The  popular 
derivation  (  =  a  corruption  of  Jonah's 
locker,  i.e.  the  place  where  Jonah 
was  kept  and  confined,  and  by  im- 
plication the  grave  of  all  gone  to  the 
bottom,  drowned  or  dead)  is  con- 
jectural. Davy  putting  on  the  coppers 
for  the  parsons,  the  indications  of  a 
coming  storm.  Davy  Jones'  natural 
children,  smugglers,  sea-rovers,  pirates. 
Davy's-dust.  Gunpowder.  3^ 
Dawb  (or  Daub).  To  bribe. 
Daylight.  A  glass  that  is  not  a 
bumper,  skylight  (q.v.):  obsolete. 
To  burn  daylight,  to  use  artificial 
light  before  it  is  really  dark,  to  waste 
time  (1595).  To  let  (or  knock)  day- 
light into  one  (into  the  victualling  de- 
partment, or  into  the  luncheon  reservoir), 
to  stab  in  the  stomach,  and,  by  im- 
plication, to  kill :  Fr.,  bayafer. 

Daylights.  1.  The  eyes.  To 
darken  one's  daylights,  to  give  a  black 
eye,  sew  up  one's  sees  (1752).  2.  In 
sing.,  the  space  in  a  glass  between 
liquor  and  brim :  inadmissible  in 
bumpers  at  toasts :  the  toast-master 
cries  '  no  daylights  nor  heeltaps  !  ' 

Deacon.  To  pack  fruit,  vegetables, 
etc.,  the  finest  on  the  top  :  cf.  Yankee 
proverb,  All  deacons  are  good,  but 
there  is  odds  in  deacons.  To  deacon 
a  calf,  to  kill.  To  deacon  land,  to 
filch  land  by  gradually  putting  back 
one's  fences  into  the  highway  or  other 
common  property.  To  deacon  off,  to 
give  the  cue,  lead  in  debate.  [From 
a  custom,  once  universal  but  now 
almost  extinct,  in  the  New  England 
Congregational  churches.  An  im- 
portant function  of  the  deacon's 
office  was  to  read  aloud  the  hymns 
given  out  by  the  minister  one  line  at  a 
time,  the  congregation  singing  each 
line  as  soon  as  read.  This  was  called 
deaconing  off.] 

Deacon  -  seat.  In  log  cabins  the 
sleeping  apartment  is  partitioned  off 
by  poles.  The  bed  is  mother  earth, 
the  pillow  is  a  log,  the  foot-board  a 
long  pole  six  feet  from  the  fire  and  in 
the  centre  of  the  cabin.  The  deacon 
seat  is  a  plank  fixed  over  and  running 
parallel  with  the  footboard  so  as  to 

form  a  kind  of  settee  in  front  of  the 
fire.  [Probably  in  allusion  to  the 
seats  round  a  pulpit,  facing  the  con- 
gregation, reserved  for  deacons.] 

Deacon's  Hiding-place.  A  private 
compartment  in  oyster  saloons  and 
cafes  ;  Fr.,  cabinet  particulicr. 

Dead.     An    abbreviation    of   dead 
certainty.      As  adj.,  stagnant,  quiet 
(of  trade),  flat  (as  of  beer  or  aerated 
waters   after   exposure),    cold,    good, 
thorough,  complete  (1602).     Dead  as 
a  door  nail  (mutton,  a  herring,  a  tent- 
peg,  Julius  Ccesar,  etc.),  utterly,  com- 
pletely dead.     Dead  as  a  door-nail  is 
found   in  Langland's  Piers  Plowman 
[1362] ;  all  other  forms  are  modern. 
In  dead  earnest,   without   doubt,   in 
very  truth.     Dead  against,  decidedly 
opposed   to.      Dead   alive  (or  Dead- 
and-alive),  dull,   stupid,   mopish,  for- 
merly  deadly  -  lively.      Dead  -  amiss, 
incapacitated    through    illness    from 
competing  in  a  race :  of  horses.     Dead- 
beat,   a  sponger,   loafer,   sharper.     2. 
A  pick-me-up  compounded  of  ginger, 
soda,    and    whisky.      As     verb,    to 
sponge,    loaf,    cheat.     As    adj.,    ex- 
hausted.    Dead  broke,  utterly  penni- 
less, ruined  :  also  flat  (or  stone)  broke  ; 
used  verbally,  to  dead  break.     Eng- 
lish synonyms:    wound    up,    settled, 
coopered,  smashed  up,  under  a  cloud, 
cleaned  out,  cracked  up,  done  up,  on 
one's   back,   floored,   on   one's   beam 
ends,  gone  to  pot,  broken-backed,  all 
U.   P.,  in  the  wrong  box,  stumped, 
feathered,     squeezed,     dry,     gutted, 
burnt  one's  fingers,  dished,  in  a  bad 
way,   gone  up,   gone   by  the   board, 
made  mince  meat  of,  broziered,  wil- 
lowed,  not  to  have  a  feather  to  fly 
with,    burst,    fleeced,    stony,    pebble- 
beached,   in   Queer   Street,   stripped, 
rooked,   hard  up,   broke,  hooped-up, 
strapped,  gruelled. 

Dead-cargo.  Booty  of  a  disappoint- 
ing character. 

Dead-certainty.  That  which  is  sure 
to  occur ;  usually  contracted  to  Dead 
or  Cert,  both  of  which  see.  Dead  cut, 
see  Cut. 

Dead-duck.  That  which  has  depre- 
ciated to  the  verge  of  worthlessness. 

Deader.  1.  A  funeral,  black  -  job 
(q.v.).  2.  A  corpse. 

Dead  -  frost.  A  fiasco,  Columbus 
(q.v.) :  Fr.,  four  noir, 

Dead-head  (Dead-beat  or  Dead- 
hand).  One  who  obtains  some* 




thing  of  commercial  value  without 
special  payment  or  charge ;  spec,  a 
person  who  travels  by  rail,  visits 
theatres,  etc.,  by  means  of  free  paaiei. 
Also  as  verb. 

Dead-heat  A  race  with  an  equal 
finish  :  formerly  dead  (1635). 

Dead-horse.  1.  Work,  the  wages  for 
which  have  been  paid  in  advance ; 
by  implication,  distasteful,  or  thank- 
less labour :  Fr.,  bijouterie.  To  pull 
the  dead  horse,  to  work  for  wages  al- 
ready paid  :  Fr.,  manger  du  soli  ( 1651 ). 
2.  (West  Indian).  A  shooting  star. 
Among  Jamaican  negroes  the  spirits 
of  horses  that  have  fallen  over  pre- 
cipices are  thought  to  re-appear  in 
this  form.  To  flog  the  dead  hone,  to 
work  to  no  purpose,  dissipate  one's 
energy  in  vain,  make  much  ado 
about  nothing. 

Dead-letter.  Anything  that  has 
lost  its  force  or  authority  by  lapse  of 
time  or  other  causes  (1775). 

Deadlights.     The  eyes. 

Dead  -  lurk.  The  art  of  entering 
dwelling-houses  during  divine  service 
(May  hew). 

Deadly.  Very,  extremely,  ex- 
cessively :  e.g.  So  deadly  cunning 
a  man  (Arbuthnot). 

Deadly-lively.  Jovial  against  the 
grain  and  to  no  purpose. 

Deadly-nevergreen.  The  gallows, 
The  leafless  tree,  The  tree  that  bears 
fruit  all  the  year  round :  see  Nubbing- 

Dead-man.  1.  An  emply  bottle: 
said  to  bear  Moll  Thompson's  mark 
(i.e.  M.T.=empty).  English  syno- 
nyms :  camp-candlestick,  fellow-com- 
moner, corpse,  dummy,  dead  marine, 
dead  recruit,  dead  'un.  2.  A  loaf, 
over-ch  irged,  or  marked  down  though 
not  delivered.  In  London,  dead  'un 
is  a  popular  term  for  a  half-quartern 
loaf.  Also,  by  implication,  a  baker 
(1819).  3  (tailors').  In  pL,  Misfits ; 
hence,  a  scarecrow. 

Dead  man's  -  lurk.  Extortion  of 
money  from  the  relatives  of  deceased 

Dead  -  meat.  A  corpse.  English 
synonyms :  cold  meat,  pickles  (medical 
students'  :  for  specimens  direct  from 
the  subject),  croaker,  stiff,  stiff  'un, 
dustman,  cold  pig.  See  Cold-meat 

Dead  -  m  e  n's  -  shoes.  A  situa- 
tion, property,  or  possession  formerly 

occupied  or  enjoyed  by  a  person 
who  is  dead  and  buried.  Waiting  for 
dead  men's  shoes,  looking  forward  to 
inheritances  (1584). 

Dead-nap.  A  thorough-going 

Dead  -  nip.  A  plan  or  scheme  of 
little  importance  which  has  turned  out 
a  failure. 

Dead-oh.  In  the  last  stage  of  intoxi- 
cation :  see  Screwed. 

Dead  -  on  (or  Dead  nuts  on). 
Originally,  having  some  cause  of 
complaint  or  quarrel ;  also,  very  fond 
of,  having  complete  mastery  over, 
sure  hand  at 

Dead-set  A  pointed  and  persist- 
ent effort  or  attempt  (1781). 

Dead  Sow's-eye.  A  badly  worked 

Dead-stuck.  Said  of  actors  who 
break  down  in  the  midst  of  a  perform- 
ance through  sudden  lapse  of  memory. 

Dead-swag.  Dead  stock,  or  dead 
cargo  (q.v.) ;  plunder  that  cannot  be 
disposed  of. 

Dead-to-rights.  Certain,  without 

Dead-'un.  1.  An  uninhabited 
house.  The  cracksman  who  confines 
his  attentions  to  '  busting '  of  this 
kind  is,  in  Fr.,  un  nourrisseur.  2.  A 
half -quartern  loaf.  3.  A  horse  des- 
tined to  be  scratched  or  not  intended 
to  win,  and  against  which  odds  may 
be  safely  laid;  a  safe  'un  (q.v.).  4. 
An  empty  bottle.  5.  An  unpaid 

Dead-unit  for  (or  against).  Collec- 
tive advocacy  of  (or  opposition  to)  a 
subject,  principle,  or  line  of  action. 

Dead- wo  od  earnest  Quite  earnest, 
dead  on. 

Dead  Wrong-'un.     See  Wrong  'un. 

Deady  (or  Dead-eye).  Gin ;  a 
special  brand  of  full  proof  spirit,  Stark- 
naked  (q.v.).  [From  Deady,  a  well- 
known  gin-spinner.]  (1819). 

Deal.  There's  a  deal  of  glass  about, 
said  of  men  and  things  ;  used  as  a 
compliment^ showy,  it's  the  thing. 
To  wet  the  deal,  to  ratify  a  bargain  by 
drinking,  to  '  shake.'  To  do  a  deal,  to 
conclude  a  bargain. 

Deal-suit  A  coffin  ;  especially  one 
supplied  by  the  parish. 

Dean  (Winchester  College).  A 
small  piece  of  wood  bound  round  a 
Bill-brighter  (q.v.);  that  securing  a 
faggot  is  called  a  Bishop. 




Deaner.     A  shilling  :  see  Rhino. 

Death.  To  be  death  on,  very  fond 
of,  thoroughly  master  of — a  metaphor 
of  completeness ;  the  same  as  Dead 
on,  Mark  on,  or  Some  pumpkins  on. 
To  dress  to  death,  to  attire  oneself  in 
the  extreme  of  fashion.  In  America 
to  dress  within  a  inch  of  one's  life ;  to 
dress  up  drunk,  and  to  dress  to  kill.  An 
old  Cornish  proverb  has  dressed  to 
death  like  Sally  Hatch  (N.  and  Q.,  3 
ser.,  vi.  6). 

Death  hunter.  1.  A  vendor  of  the 
last  dying  speeches,  or  confessions  of 
criminals ;  a  running  patterer  or 
stationer  (1738).  2.  An  undertaker. 

Death  or  Glory  Boys.  See  Bing- 
ham's  Dandies. 

Debblish.     A  penny  :  see  Rhino. 

Decent  (Decently,  Decentish). 
Moderate,  tolerable,  passably,  fairly 

Decoy-bird  (or  duck).  One  em- 
ployed to  decoy  persons  into  a  snare  ; 
a  Buttoner  or  Bug-hunter  (q.v.) :  FT., 
allumeur,  chatouilleur,  or  arrangeur. 

D  e  c  u  s.  A  crown  piece  :  see 
Rhino.  [From  the  Latin  motto, 
Decus  et  tutamen  on  the  rims  of  these 
coins.]  (1688). 

Dee.  1.  A  pocket-book  or  reader. 
2.  A  detective ;  also  'tec  (q.v.).  3. 
See  D,  sense  2. 

Deeker.  A  thief  kept  in  pay 
by  a  constable  (Haggart). 

Deep.  Artful,  e.g.  a  deep  one: 
cf.  Wide  (1672). 

Deerstalker.  A  felt  hat :  see  Gol- 

Deferred-stock.     Inferior  soup. 

Degen  (Degan,  or  Dagen).  A 
sword  (1785). 

Delicate.  A  lurker's  (q.v.)  false 
subscription  book. 

Dell.  A  young  girl,  virgin, 
young  wanton  :  later,  a  mistress  :  cf. 
Doxy  (1567). 

Delog.     Gold  :  see  Rhino. 

Delo-nammow.     An  old  woman. 

Delve.  To  delve  it,  to  hurry  with 
one's  work,  head  down  and  sewing  fast. 

Demaunder  for  Glymmar.  '  These 
Demaunders  for  Glymmar  be  for  the 
moste  parte  wemen ;  for  glymmar  in 
their  language,  is  fyre.  These  goe 
with  fayned  lycences  and  counter- 
fayted  wrytings,  hauing  the  hands  and 
seales  of  suche  gentlemen  as  dwelleth 
nere  to  the  place  where  they  fayne 
them  selues  to  haue  bene  burnt,  and 

their  goods  consumed  with  fyre.  They 
wyll  most  lamentable  demaunde  your 
charitie,  and  wyll  quicklye  shed  salte 
teares,  they  be  so  tender  harted. 
They  wyll  neuer  begge  in  that  Shiere 
where  their  losses  (as  they  say)  was ' 

Demi -doss.     A  penny  sleep. 

Demi-rep.  A  woman  of  doubtful 
repute.  [A  contraction  of  demi- 
reputation.  ]  ( 1 750). 

Demnition  Bow-wows.  The 
'  dogs '  which  spell '  ruin.'  Originally  a 

Demon  (Australian  prison).  1. 
A  policeman.  2.  An  adept ;  e.g. 
the  demon  bowler— Mr.  Spofforth ; 
the  demon  /oc&ez/— Fordham  or  Fred 
Archer,  and  so  forth. 

Den.  A  place  where  intimates  are 
received ;  one's  diggings,  or  snug- 

Dennis.     A  small  walking  stick. 

Dep.  1.  A  deputy;  specifically  the 
night  porter  or  chamberlain  at  padding 
or  doss-kens.  2.  (Christ's  Hospital). 
A  deputy  Grecian,  i.e.  a  boy  in  the 
form  below  the  Grecians. 

D  e  r  r  e  y.  An  eyeglass.  To  take 
the  derrey,  to  quiz,  ridicule. 

Derrick.  The  gallows.  [A  cor- 
ruption of  Theodoric,  the  name  of  the 
public  hangman  at  the  end  of  the 
sixteenth  and  the  beginning  of  the 
seventeenth  centuries.]  Now  the  name 
of  an  apparatus,  resembling  a  crane. 
Also  as  verb,  to  hang  (1600):  see 

Derwenter.  A  convict.  [From  the 
penal  settlement  on  the  banks  of  the 
Derwent,  Tasmania.] 

Despatchers.  False  dice  with  two 
sides,  double  four,  five,  and  six. 

Desperate  (and  Desperately), 
generic    for    excessiveness ;   e.g.   des 
perately  mashed,  over  head  and  ears 
in  love. 

Detrimental.  An  ineligible  suitor ; 
also  a  male  flirt. 

Detrimental-club.  The  Reform 

Deuce  (Dewce,  or  Deuse).  1.  The 
devil ;  perdition.  Also  used  as  an 
ejaculation,  e.g.  the  deuce  !  what  the 
deuce  !  who  the  deuce  I  deuce  take  you  I 
etc.  2.  Twopence  :  see  Rhino  (1714). 
3.  The  two  at  dice  or  cards.  To  play 
the  deuce  (or  devil)  with,  to  send,  or 
be  sent,  to  rack  and  ruin.  The  deuce 
to  pay,  unpleasant  or  awkward  con- 



sequences  to  be  faced :  see  Devil  to 

Deuced.  Devilish,  excessive,  con- 
founded. Also  adverbially. 

Deusea  -  ville.  The  country :  see 

Deusea-ville  Stampers.  Country 

Devil.  1.  Formerly,  a  barrister 
who  devils,  or  gets  up,  a  case  for  a 
leader;  as  in  A  Tale  of  Two  Cities, 
Sydney  Carton  for  Mr.  Stryver.  Now 
common  for  any  one  hacking  for 
another.  2.  An  errand  boy  or  young 
apprentice ;  in  the  early  days  of  the 
craft,  the  boy  who  took  the  printed 
sheets  as  they  came  from  the  press : 
Fr.,  attrape-acienee  (1754).  3.  A  kind 
of  sharpened  anchor,  at  the  bows  of  a 
trawler,  for  cutting  the  nets  of  drifters 
in  the  North  Sea.  4.  A  firework 
(1742).  5.  Gin  seasoned  with  capsi- 
cums. 6.  A  grilled  bone  seasoned  with 
mustard  and  cayenne.  7.  A  sand- 
storm. 8.  A  species  of  firewood 
soaked  in  resin.  The  (or  a)  devil  of  [a 
thin*}],  an  indefinite  intensitive :  e.g. 
devil  of  a  mess,  of  a  woman,  of  a 
row,  etc.  (1602).  American  devil,  a 
steam  whistle  or  hooter :  used  in 
place  of  a  bell  for  summoning  to 
work.  Blue  devils:  see  ante.  Little 
(or  young)  devil,  a  half  playful,  half 
sarcastic,  address ;  a  term  of  endear- 
ment ;  e.g.  You  little  deviL  As  verb, 

1.  To  act  as  a  Devil  (q.v.),  to  perform 
routine  or  regular  work  for  another. 

2.  To   victimize.     What   who,    when, 
where,  or  how  the  devil,  an  expletive  of 
wonder,   vexation,   etc.     To  play  the 
devil   with,    to   ruin   or    molest.     To 
pull  the  devil  by  the  tail,  to  go  headlong 
to  ruin ;  also  to  be  reduced  to  one's 
last  shift.     To  whip  the  devil  round 
the  stump,   to   enjoy   the   sweets   of 
wickedness  and  yet  escape  the  penalty. 
Haul  devil,  putt  baker,  to  contend  with 
varying  fortunes.     And  the  devU  knows 
what  (or  who),  a  term  used  vaguely 
and    indefinitely    to    include    details 
not  specifically  mentioned  or  known 
(1717).     To  go  to  the  devil,  to  go  to 
rack  and  ruin.  Go  to  the  devil  I  Begone  ! 
a  summary  form  of  dismissal  with  no 
heed  as  to  what  may  become  of  the 
person  who  is  sent  about  his  business. 
To  hold  a  light  or  candle  to  (or  burn  a 
candle  before)  the  devil,  to  propitiate 
through  fear,  to  assist  (or  wink  at) 
wrongdoing.    Shakespeare  ('  Merchant 

of  Venice,'  act  n.  sc.  vi.),  employs 
'  What !  must  I  hold  a  candle  to  my 
shame,'  in  much  the  same  sense.  Not 
fit  to  hold  a  candle  to  the  devil,  a  simile 
of  inferiority.  To  hold  a  candle  to 
another,  to  assist  in,  occupy  a  sub- 
ordinate position,  or  to  compare  to 
another  (1461).  The  devil  (or  the 
devil  and  all)  to  pay,  a  simile  of  fruit- 
less effort ;  awkward  consequences 
to  be  faced.  [Nautical :  originally, 
There's  the  devil  to  pay  and  no  pitch 
hot ;  the  devil  being  any  seam  in  a 
vessel,  awkward  to  caulk,  or  in  sailor's 
language  '  to  pay.'  Hence  by  con- 
fusion, The  deuce  to  pay  (q.v.).] 
(1711).  Talk  of  the  devil  and  you'll 
see  his  horns  or  tail,  said  of  a  person 
who,  being  the  subject  of  conversation, 
unexpectedly  makes  an  appearance. 
Fr.,  parlez  des  anges  et  vous  en  voyez 
les  ailes  (1664).  Devil  may  care, 
rollicking,  reckless,  rash  (1822).  DevU 
take  (fetch,  send,  snatch,  or  fly  away 
with)  you,  me,  him  I  an  imprecation 
of  impatience.  Fr.,  le  boulanger 
fentrotte  en  son  pasclin.  There's  the 
devil  among  the  tailors,  a  row  is  going 
on.  [Edwards : — Originating  in  a 
riot  at  the  Haymarket  when  Dow- 
ton  announced  the  performance,  for 
his  benefit,  of  a  burlesque  entitled 
'  The  Tailors  :  a  Tragedy  for  Warm 
Weather.'  Many  thousands  of  jour- 
neymen tailors  congregated,  and 
interrupted  the  performances.  Thirty- 
three  were  brought  up  at  Bow  Street 
next  day. — See  Biographica  Drama- 
tica  under  '  Tailors.']  When  the 
devil  is  blind,  never,  i.e.  in  a  month 
of  Sundays  ;  said  of  anything  unlikely 
to  happen  :  see  Greek  Kalends. 

Devil -dodger.  A  clergyman :  also, 
by  implication,  any  one  of  a  religious 
turn  of  mind  (1791).  English  syno- 
nyms :  devil  catcher  (driver,  pitcher, 
or  scolder),  snub  devil,  bible  pounder, 
duck  that  grinds  the  gospel  mill,  corn- 
mister,  camister,  sky-pilot,  chimney- 
sweep, rat,  rum  (Johnson),  pan  tiler, 
cushion  smiter  (duster,  or  thumper), 
couple  (or  buckle)  beggar,  rook,  gospel 
grinder,  earwig,  one-in-ten  (tramps  = 
a  tithe-monger),  finger-post,  parish 
prig,  parish  bull,  holy  Joe,  green 
apron,  black  cattle  (collectively), 
white  choker,  patrico,  black  coat, 
black  fly,  glue  pot,  gospel  postilion, 
prunella,  pudding-sleeves,  puzzle-text, 
schism  -  monger,  cod,  Black  Bruns- 




wicker,  spiritual  flesh-broker,  head- 
clerk  of  the  Doxology  Works,  Lady 
Green,  fire-escape,  gospel  sharp,  padre 
(Anglo-Indian),  pound-text. 

Devil-drawer.  An  indifferent 

Devilish.  Used  intensively :  cf. 
Awfully,  beastly  (1755). 

Devil's  Bed-posts  (or  Four- 
poster).  The  four  of  clubs ;  held 
to  be  an  unlucky  '  turn  up.' 

Devil' s-bones.  Dice  ;  also  Devil's 
teeth,  Devil's  books  (1664). 

Devil's-books.  Cards.  [Of  Pres- 
byterian origin  ;  in  reproof  of  a  syno- 
nym —  King's  books,  or  more  fully, 
The  History  of  the  Four  Kings  (Fr., 
lime  des  quatre  row).]  Also  Books  of 
Briefs  (Fr.,  la  cartouchiere  d  parties) 

Devil's-claws.  The  broad  arrow  on 
convict  dress. 

Devil's-colours  (or  livery).  Black 
and  yellow. 

Devil's-daughter.     A  shrew. 
Devil's-delight.      To  kick   up  the 
devil's  delight,  to  make  a  disturbance 

Devil'  s-d  o  z  e  n.  Thirteen  ;  the 
original  of  baker's  dozen  (q.v.). 
[From  the  number  of  witches  sup- 
posed to  sit  down  together  at  a  '  Sab- 
bath.' Fr.,  boulanger  =  the  devil.] 

Devil's -dung,  subs.  (old).  Asa- 
f  oetida  :  the  old  pharmaceutical  name 

Devil' s-dust.  1.  Old  cloth  shredded 
for  re-manufacture.  [In  twofold  al- 
lusion to  the  swindle  and  to  the  '  dust ' 
or  '  flock  '  produced  by  the  disinteg- 
rating machine  called  a  '  devil.'  The 
practice  and  the  name  are  old.  Lati- 
mer,  in  one  of  his  sermons  before  Ed- 
ward the  Sixth,  treating  of  trade 
rascality,  remarked  that  manufac- 
turers could  stretch  cloth  seventeen 
yards  long,  into  a  length  of  seven-and- 
twenty  yards :  '  When  they  have 
brought  him  to  that  perfection,'  he 
continues,  '  they  have  a  pretty  feat 
to  thick  him  again.  He  makes  me  a 
powder  for  it,  and  plays  the  pothicary. 
They  call  it  flock-powder,  they  do  so 
incorporate  it  to  the  cloth,  that  it  is 
wonderful  to  consider ;  truly  a  good 
invention.  Oh  that  so  goodly  wits 
should  be  so  applied  ;  they  may  well 
deceive  the  people,  but  they  cannot 
deceive  God.  They  were  wont  to 
make  beds  of  flocks,  and  it  was  a  good 

bed  too.  Now  they  have  turned 
their  flocks  into  powder,  to  play  the 
false  thieves  with  it.'  Popularised  by 
Mr.  Ferrand  in  a  speech  before  the 
House  of  Commons,  March  4,  1842 
(Hansard,  3  S.,  Ixi.  p.  140),  when  he 
tore  a  piece  of  cloth  made  from  devil's 
dust,  into  shreds  to  prove  its  worth- 
lessness.]  Also  Shoddy  (q.v.)  (1840). 
2.  Gunpowder. 

Devil's-guts.  A  surveyor's  chain 

Devil's  Own  (The).  1.  The  Eighty- 
Eighth  Foot.  [A  contraction  of  The 
Devil's  Own  Connaught  Boys,  a  name 
bestowed  by  General  Picton  for 
gallantry  in  action  and  irregularity  in 
quarters  during  the  Peninsular  War, 
1809-14.]  2.  The  Inns  of  Court 
Volunteers  [in  allusion  to  the  legal 
personnel]  (1864). 

Devil' s-paternoster.  To  say  the 
devil's  paternoster,  verb.  phr.  (old). 
To  grumble  (1614). 

Devil's-playthings.  Cards :  also 
Devil's  books. 

Devil's-sharpshooter.  A  cleric  who 
took  part  in  the  Mexican  War. 

Devil's  -  smiles.  April  weather, 
alternations  of  sunshine  and  rain. 

Devil's  -  tattoo.  Drumming  the 
fingers  or  tapping  the  floor  with  one's 
feet,  in  vacancy  or  impatience  (1817). 
Devil's-teeth.  See  Devil's-bones. 
[Also  to  note  in  this  connexion  are 
Devil's  own  boy,  a  young  blackguard  ; 
imp  of  the  devil,  idem ;  Devil's  own 
ship,  a  pirate ;  Devil's  own  luck,  un- 
common, or  inexplicable  good  fortune. 
To  lead  one.  the  devil's  own  dance,  to 
baffle  one  in  the  pursuit  of  any  object ; 
The  devil  a  bit,  says  Punch,  a  jocular 
yet  decided  negative  ;  and  Neat  but 
not  gaudy,  as  the  devil  said  when  he 
painted  his  bottom  pink  and  tied  up  his 
tail  with  pea  green,  a  locution  em- 
ployed of  aged  ladies  dressed  in  flam- 
ing colours.] 

Deviltry.  A  vulgarism  for 

D  e  v  o  r  (Charterhouse).  Plum 
cake.  [From  the  Latin.] 

Devotional  -  habits.  Said  of  a 
horse  that  is  apt  to  '  say  his  prayers,' 
i.e.  to  stumble  and  go  on  his  knees. 

Dew-beaters  (dusters,  or 
treaders).  1.  Pedestrians  out  early 
in  the  morning,  i.e.  before  the  dew 
is  off  the  ground  (1692).  2.  The 
feet :  see  Creepers.  3.  Shoes. 


Dew-bit.  A  snack  before  break- 

Dew -drink.  A  drink  before  break- 
fast :  Fr.,  goutte  pour  tutr  It  ver,  i.e. 
to  drown  the  maggot,  or,  to  crinkle 
the  worm.  Not,  of  course,  the  early 
worm  of  the  proverb,  but  his  spiritual 
cousin,  the  worm  that  never  dies. 

Dewitt.  To  lynch.  [The  two  De 
Witts,  opponents  of  William  of  Orange, 
were  massacred  by  the  mob  in  1672, 
without  subsequent  inquiry.]  Cf. 
Boycott,  Burke,  Cellier  (1690). 

Dewse-a-Vyle.  The  country :  see 

Dewskitch.     A  thrashing. 

Dial  (or  Dial-plate).  The  face.  To 
turn  the  hands  on  the  dial,  to  disfigure 
the  face.  English  synonyms  :  frontis- 
piece, gills  (the  jaws),  chump  (also 
the  head),  phiz,  physog,  mug,  jib, 
chivy  (or  chevy),  roach  and  dace 
(rhyming),  signboard,  door  -  plate, 

Dials.  Convicts  and  thieves  hailing 
from  Seven  Dials. 

Diamond  -  cracking.  1.  Stone- 
breaking.  2.  Coal  mining.  Cf.  Black 

Dibs  (or  Dibbs).  Generic  for  money : 
see  Rhino.  [Said  to  be  a  corruption 
of  diobs,  i.e.  diobolus,  a  classic  coin= 
2Jd.  Another  derivation  is  from  the 
hucklebones  of  sheep,  popularly  dibbs, 
used  for  gambling  ;  Scots  '  chuckies.'] 
To  brush  with  the  dibs,  to  abscond  with 
the  cash  ;  To  tip  over  the  dibs,  to  pay 
down  or  shell  out ;  To  flash  the  dibs, 
to  show  money,  etc. 

Dice.  To  box  the  dice,  to  carry  a 
point  by  trick  or  swindle. 

Dick.  1.  A  dictionary,  a  Richard 
(q.v.) ;  also,  by  implication,  fine 
language  or  long  words.  2.  A  riding 
whip.  3.  An  affidavit.  4.  An  Irish 
Catholic :  see  Crawthumper.  As  verb, 
to  look,  Pipe  (q.v.) ;  e.g.  the  bulky's 
dicking,  the  policeman  is  watching 
you :  Fr.,  gaffer :  see  Pipe.  Dick  in 
the  green,  weak,  inferior :  cf.  Dicky. 
In  the  reign  of  Queen  Dick,  never, 
when  two  Sundays  come  in  a  week : 
see  Greek  Kalends.  To  swallow  the 
Diet,  to  use  long  words  without  know- 
ledge of  their  meaning,  to  high  falute 
(American).  Up  to  Dick,  not  to  be 
taken  in,  artful,  fly,  wide  -  awake. 
Also,  up  to  the  mark,  i.e.  perfectly 

Dickens.      The  devil  (q.v.)  or 

deuce  (q.v.)  (1596),  used  interchange- 
ably. [A  corruption  of  nick  (q.v.).] 
For  synonyms,  see  Skipper. 

Dicker  (or  Dickering).  Barter, 
swap  (q.v.) :  generally  applied  to  trade 
in  small  articles. 

Dickey.  1.  A  woman's  under  pet- 
ticoat 2.  A  donkey  (1766).  3.  A 
sham  shirt  front,  formerly  a  worn-out 
shirt.  [Hotten  :  originally  tommy 
(from  the  Greek,  ropy,  a  section),  a 
word  once  used  in  Trinity  College, 
Dublin.]  Also,  by  implication,  any 
sham  contrivance  (1781).  4.  A  shirt 
collar  (De  Fere).  6.  A  ship's  officer 
or  mate ;  second  dickey,  i.e.  second 
mate.  6.  A  swell :  see  Dandy.  As 
adj.,  1.  Sorry,  inferior,  paltry  and  poor 
in  quality.  Dickey  domus  (theatri- 
cal), a  poor  house.  2.  Smart :  cor- 
ruption of  Up  to  dick  (q.v.).  Att 
dickey  with  [one'],  queer,  gone  wrong 
all  up  with  (1811). 

Dickey-bird.  1.  A  louse:  see 
Chates.  2.  (pi.)  Professional  singers 
of  all  grades.  3.  A  prostitute  ;  gener- 
ally naughty  dickey-bird. 

Dickey-diaper.    A  linen-draper. 

Dickey-dido.  An  idiot :  see 

Dickey-lagger.    A  bird-catcher. 

Dickey-sam.  A  native  of  Liverpool. 

Diddies.     The  paps. 

Diddle.  1.  Gin :  see  Drinks.  2. 
A  swindle,  do.  As  verb,  1.  To 
cheat  (1811).  2.  (Scots  colloquial). 
To  shake. 

Diddle-cove.     A  landlord. 

Diddler.  A  cheat,  a  dodger.  [Cf. 
Jeremy  Diddler,  in  Kenny's  liaising 
the  Wind.}  Also  a  chronic  borrower. 

Didoes.  Pranks,  tricks,  fantastic 

Die  (or  Dee).  A  pocket  book.  To 
die  in  one's  boots  (or  shoes).  1.  To  be 
hanged:  see  Ladder  (1653).  2.  To 
'  die  standing  ' :  at  work,  in  harness, 
in  full  possession  of  one's  faculties. 
See  Cotton. 

Die  -  by  -  the  -  Hedge.  The  flesh 
of  animals  deceased  by  accident  or  of 
disease  ;  hence,  inferior  meat. 

Die  -  Hards.  The  Fifty-Seventh 
Foot.  [From  the  rallying  call  at 
Albuera  (1811)  its  Colonel  (Inglis) 
calling  to  the  men, '  Die  hard,  my  men, 
die  hard,'  when  it  had  thirty  bullets 
through  the  King's  Colour,  and  only 
had  one  officer  out  of  twenty-four,  and 
one  hundred  and  sixty-eight  men  out 




of  five  hundred  and  eighty-four,  when 
left  standing.] 

Dig.  1.  A  blow,  thrust,  punch,  or 
poke  ;  in  pugilism,  a  '  straight  left- 
hander '  delivered  under  the  guard  on 
the  'mark'  (1819).  Also  as  verb. 
English  synonyms :  auctioneer,  biff, 
bang,  buck-horse,  buster,  chatterer, 
chin  -  chopper,  chopper,  clip,  click, 
clinker,  clout,  cock,  cork,  comber, 
cuff,  cant,  corker,  dab,  downer,  douser, 
ding,  domino,  floorer,  ferricadouzer, 
fibbing,  facer,  flush  -  hit,  finisher, 
gooser,  hot  'un,  jaw-breaker,  lick, 
mendoza,  muzzier,  noser,  nobbier, 
nose-ender,  nope,  oner,  punch,  stock- 
dollager,  stotor,  spank,  topper,  twister, 
whack,  wipe.  2.  A  diligent  student : 
(by  implication  from  the  verb  (q.v.) ; 
also  study ;  e.g.  to  have  a  dig  at  Caesar 
or  Livy ;  as  verb,  to  work  hard ;  especi- 
ally to  study.  To  dig  a  day  under  the 
skin,  to  make  one  shave  serve  two 
days.  To  dig  up  the  hatchet :  see  Bury. 

Digester.     See  Patent  digester. 

Digged.     See  Jigged. 

Diggers.  1.  Spurs,  persuaders 
(1789).  2.  The  spades  suit:  also 
Diggums.  Big  digger,  ace  of  spades. 
3.  The  finger  nails. 

Diggers' -delight.  A  wide-brimmed 
felt  hat :  see  Golgotha. 

Diggings.  A  place  of  residence  or 
employment.  [First  used  at  the 
Western  lead  mines  in  the  U.S.A.  to 
denote  whence  ore  was  dug.]  Eng- 
lish synonyms  :  birk,  box,  case,  crib, 
chat,  den,  dry-lodgings,  drum,  place, 
pig-sty,  pew,  cabin,  castle,  chafimg- 
crib,  caboose,  sky-parlour,  shop,  ken, 
dossing  -  ken,  hole,  rookery,  hutch, 

Diggums.  1.  A  gardener.  2. 
The  suit  of  spades  ;  also  Diggers  (q.v.). 

Dilberries.  Fcecal and  seminal 
deposits :  clinkers. 

Dilly.  A  night  cart ;  formerly 
a  coach.  [Fr.,  diligence.} 

Dilly-bag.     A  wallet,  scran-bag. 

Dilly  -  dally.  To  loiter,  hesitate, 
trifle  (1740). 

D  i  m  b  e  r.  Pretty,  neat,  lively, 
scrumptious,  natty.  Fr.,  batif,  fignole, 
girofte.  Dimber  cove,  a  sprightly  man, 
a  gentleman.  Dimber  mort,  a  pretty 

Dimber  -  damber.  A  captain  of 
thieves  or  vagrants. 

Dimmock.  Generic  for  money :  see 

Dinahs.  Edinburgh  and  Glasgow 
Railway  Ordinary  Stock. 

Dinarly  (or  Dinali)  Money  :  gen- 
eric :  see  Rhino.  Nantee  (or  Nanti 
Dinarly),  no  money :  Sp.,  dinero ; 
Lingua  Franca,  niente  dinaro,  not  a 

Dine.  To  dine  out,  to  go  dinnerless. 
To  dine  with  Duke  Humphrey,  Take  a 
Spitalfields  breakfast  (or  an  Irishman's 
dinner),  go  out  and  count  the  railings. 
Fr.,  Se  coucJier  bredouUle  (to  go  to  bed 
supperless) ;  oiler  voir  de  filer  lea  dragons 
(to  go  and  watch  the  dragoons  march 
past) ;  diner  en  ville  (to  dine  in  town  : 
i.e.  to  munch  a  roll  in  the  street  or  to 
eat  nothing),  lire  le  journal. 

Ding.  To  knock,  strike  down, 
pound,  or  give  way :  also  to  get  rid 
of,  pass  to  a  confederate,  steal  by  a 
single  effort.  To  ding  a  castor,  to 
snatch  a  hat  and  run  with  it :  the 
booty  being  dinged  if  it  has  to  be 
thrown  away.  Going  upon  the  ding,  to 
go  on  the  prowl.  Ding  the  tot !  run 
away  with  the  lot !  (1340). 

Ding-bat.     Money  :  see  Rhino. 

Ding-boy.     A  rogue,  bully  (Grose). 

Ding-dong.  To  go  at  it  (or  to  it) 
ding-dong,  to  tackle  with  vigour,  or  in 
right  good  earnest.  Formerly,  helter- 
skelter  (Grose,  1785). 

Dinge  (Royal  Military  Academy). 
A  picture  or  painting. 

Dinged.  Darned  (damned),  some- 
times Ding-goned. 

Dinger.  1.  A  thief  who  throws 
away  his  booty  to  escape  detection  : 
see  Ding.  2.  In  pi.,  cups  and  balls ; 
Fr.,  gobdets  et  muscades. 

Ding-fury.     Huff,  anger. 

Ding-goned.     See  Dinged. 

Dingle.  Hackneyed,  used  up 

Dining  -  room.  The  mouth  :  see 
Potato  -  trap.  Dining  -  room  chairs, 
the  teeth  ;  also  Dinner-set  (q.v.) :  see 

Dining-room  Post.  Petty  pilfering 
by  sham  postmen. 

Dink.     Dainty,  trim  ( 1 794). 

Dinner-set.  The  teeth.  Your 
dinner-set  wants  looking  to,  you  need 
to  go  to  the  dentist. 

Dip.  1.  A  pickpocket ;  also  Dip- 
per and  Dipping-bloke :  see  Stook- 
hauler.  2.  A  stolen  kiss,  especially 
one  snatched  in  the  dark.  3.  (West- 
minster School).  A  pocket  inkstand- 
4.  A  candle  made  by  dipping  the  wick 




in  tallow.  As  verb  ( 1 )  To  pick  pockets 
To  dip  a  lob,  to  rob  a  till :  also  to  go  on 
the  dipe,  to  go  pocket-picking :  see 
Frisk.  (2)  To  pawn,  mortgage  ( 1 093). 
(3)  To  be  convicted,  get  into  trouble. 
To  dip  one's  beak,  to  drink  :  see  Lush. 

Dipe.    See  Dip. 

Dipped.  Dipped  in  the  wing. 

Dipper.  1.  A  baptist  (Grose).  2. 
See  Dip. 

Dipping-bloke.     See  Dip. 

Dips.  1.  A  purser's  boy.  2.  A 

Dipstick.     A  gauger. 

Dirt.  Money :  generic  :  see  Rhino. 
To  eat  dirt,  to  submit  to  insult,  eat 
broiled  crow,  or  humble  pie  (q.v.) ;  to 
retract.  To  fling  dirt  (or  mud),  to 
abuse,  vituperate  (1689).  To  cut 
dirt.  See  Cut. 

Dirt-baillie.  An  inspector  of 

Dirt  -  scraper.  An  advocate  who 
rakes  up  unpleasant  facts  in  a  witness's 

Dirty -dishes.     Poor  relations. 

Dirty  Half-Hundred.  The  Fiftieth 
Foot.  [From  the  fact  that,  in  action, 
during  the  Peninsular  War,  the  men 
wiped  their  faces  with  their  black  fac- 
ings.] Also  the  Blind  Half- Hundred. 

Dirty-puzzle.     A  slut  (Orose). 

Dirty -shirt  March.  On  Sunday 
mornings  the  male  population  of  Drury 
Lane,  Whitechapel,  and  other  crowded 
districts  loaf  about  the  streets,  before 
attiring  themselves  in  their  Sunday 
clothes.  This  promenade  is  called  a 
Dirty-shirt  march. 

Dirty-shirts.  The  Hundred 
and  First  Foot.  [They  fought  in 
their  shirt-sleeves  at  Delhi  in  1867.] 

Disgruntled.  Offended :  colloquial 
in  U.S.A.  Undisgruntled,  unoffended. 

Disguised.  Drunk  :  see  Screwed 

Dish.  To  cheat,  circumvent,  dis- 
appoint, to  ruin  (1798). 

Dish-clout.  A  dirty-puzzle, 
slattern.  To  make  a  napkin  of  one's 
dish-clout,  to  marry  one's  cook,  con- 
tract a  mesalliance  (Orose). 

Dished.  Said  of  electrotypes  when 
the  centre  of  a  letter  is  lower  than 
its  edges. 

Dismal-ditty.  A  psalm  sung  by  a 
criminal  at  the  gallows. 

Dispar  (Winchester  College).  See 

Dispatches.  False  dice;  con- 
trived always  to  throw  a  nick.  See 

Dissecting  -  job.  Garments  re- 
quiring extensive  alterations. 

Distiller.  A  man  easily  vexed, 
and  unable  to  dissemble  his  condition. 

Ditto-blues  (Winchester  College). 
A  suit  of  clothes  all  of  blue  cloth : 
cf.  Dittoes. 

Ditto  Brother  (or  Sister)  Smut. 
See  Brother  Smut. 

Dittoes.  A  complete  suit  of  clothes 
of  tLe  same  material.  Fr.,  un  com- 
plet.  Occasionally  applied  to  trousers 

Ditty-bag.  A  handy  bag,  used  by 
sailors  as  a  '  huswife.'  [Deft,  Dight 
=  neat,  active,  handy.] 

Dive.  A  drinking  saloon  ;  also  a 
brothel.  As  verb,  to  pick  pockets : 
see  Frisk.  Diving,  picking  pockets 
(1631).  To  dive  into  one's  sky,  to  put 
one's  hands  into  one's  pockets.  To 
dive  into  the  woods,  to  conceal  oneself. 

Diver  (or  Dive).  A  pickpocket  (as 
Jenny  Diver  in  '  The  Beggar's  Opera  ') 
dip  (q.v.):  see  Thief  (1608). 

Divers.     The  fingers :  see  Forks. 

Divide.  To  divide  the  house  with 
one's  wife,  to  turn  her  out-of-doors. 

Diving-bell.  A  cellar- tavern  :  cf. 
Dive  :  and  see  Lush-crib. 

Do.  1.  A  fraud  (1812).  2.  One'* 
duty,  a  success,  performance  of  what 
one  has  to  do;  once  literary  (1663). 
As  verb,  (1)  to  cheat:  see  Gammon 
(1789).  2.  To  punish  (q.v.).  3.  To 
visit  a  place ;  e.g.  to  do  Italy,  to  do 
the  Row,  to  do  the  High  (at  Oxford), 
etc.  Fr.,  faire  is  used  in  the  same 
sense ;  faire  ses  Acacias,  i.e.  to  walk 
or  drive  in  the  AUee  des  Acacias.  4. 
To  perform,  to  come  (q.v.) ;  to  do  the 
polite,  to  be  polite ;  to  do  a  book,  to  write 
one  ;  to  do  the  heavy  (the  grand,  or  the 
genttel),  to  put  on  airs  (1767).  6.  To 
utter  base  coin  or  Queer  (q.v.).  Do 
as  I  do,  an  invitation  to  drink.  See 
Drinks.  To  do  a  beer  (or  a  bitter,  a 
drink,  or  a  drop),  to  take  a  drink.  To 
do  a  bilk.  See  Bilk.  To  do  a  bill, 
to  utter  an  acceptance  or  bill  of  ex- 
change. To  do  a  bishop,  to  parade  at 
short  notice.  To  do  a  bit,  to  eat  some- 
thing :  cf.  to  do  a  beer.  To  do  a 
bunk  (or  shift),  to  ease  nature :  see 
Bury  a  quaker,  and  Mrs.  Jones.  Also, 
to  go  away.  To  do  a  crib,  to  break 
into  a  house,  to  burgle  :  Fr.,  maquiUcr 




une  cambriole  :  see  Crack  a  crib.  To 
do  a  guy  (1)  to  run  away,  make  an 
escape.  (2)  To  absent  oneself  when 
supposed  to  be  at  work.  To  do  a  nob, 
to  make  a  collection.  To  do  a  pitch  : 
see  Pitch.  To  do  a  rush,  see  Rush. 
To  do  a  snatch :  see  Snatch.  To  do 
a  star  pitch,  to  sleep  in  the  open  air : 
Fr.,  loger  d  la  belle  ctoUe :  see  Hedge 
Square.  To  do  a  brown :  see  Brown 
and  Bamboozle  :  also  to  do  brown  and 
to  do  it  up  brown.  To  do  for  (1)  to 
ruin:  also  to  kill  (1650).  (2)  To 
attend  on  (as  landladies  on  lodgers). 
(3)  To  convict,  sentence.  Done  for, 
convicted.  To  do  or  play  gooseberry  : 
see  Gooseberry.  To  do  gospel,  to  go  to 
church.  To  do  the  handsome  (or  the 
handsome  thing),  to  behave  extremely 
well  to  one.  To  do  it  away,  to  dispose 
of  stolen  goods  :  also  To  do  the  swag 
(q.v.),  Fence  (q.v.).  To  do  it  on  the 
B.  H.,  to  perform  with  ease.  To  do 
it  up,  to  accomplish  an  object  in  view, 
obtain  one's  quest.  To  do  it  up  in 
good  twig,  to  live  an  easy  life  by  one's 
wits.  To  do  one  proud,  to  flatter : 
e.g.  Will  you  drink  ?  You  do  me 
proud.  To  do  out,  to  plead  guilty  and 
exonerate  an  accomplice.  To  do  over 
(1)  to  knock  down,  persuade,  cheat, 
ruin  (1789).  (2)  To  search  a  victim's 
pockets  without  his  knowing  it :  cf. 
run  the  rule  over.  To  do  potty,  to 
pick  oakum  in  gaol.  To  do  one's 
business,  to  kill :  see  Cook  one's  goose. 
Also  (vulgar),  to  evacuate.  To  do  the 
downy  to  lie  in  bed.  Downy  flea  pas- 
ture, a  bed.  To  do  the  swag,  to  sell 
stolen  property  :  Fr.,  laver  la  camelote 
or  les  fourgueroles.  To  do  the  trick,  to 
accomplish  one's  object.  To  do  time, 
to  serve  a  term  of  imprisonment.  To 
do  to  death,  to  repeat  ad  nauseam.  To 
do  to  tie  to,  to  be  fit  to  associate  with  ; 
trustworthy.  To  do  up,  to  use  up, 
finish,  quiet.  Done  up,  tired  out, 
ruined,  sold  up:  see  Floored  (1594). 
For  the  rest,  do,  like  Chuck  and  Cop, 
is  a  verb-of-all-work,  and  is  used  in 
every  possible  and  impossible  connec- 
tion. Thus,  To  do  reason  and  To  do 
right,  to  honour  a  toast ;  To  do  a  bit  of 
stiff,  to  draw  a  bill ;  To  do  a  chuck,  to 
eject,  or  to  go  away ;  To  do  a  sip 
(back  slang),  to  make  water  ;  To  do  a 
cat,  to  vomit ;  To  do  a  hall  (or  a 
theatre),  to  visit  a  music  hall  or  a  play- 
house ;  To  do  a  fluff  (theatrical),  to 
forget  one's  part ;  To  do  a  pitch  (show- 

man's or  street  artists'),  to  go  through 
a  performance  ;  To  do  a  mouch  (or  a 
mike),  to  go  on  the  prowl ;  To  do  a 
grouse,  to  go  questing  for  women  ;  To 
do  a  doss,  to  go  to  sleep ;  To  do  a 
cadge,  to  go  begging ;  To  do  a  scrap, 
to  engage  in  combat ;  to  do  a  rural,  to 
'  rear  '  by  the  wayside  ;  etc.  Do  tell  ! 
intj.  A  useful  interjection,  for  lis- 
teners who  feel  that  some  remark  is 
expected ;  equivalent  to  the  English 
Really  ?  and  Indeed  ?  A  similar 
phrase  in  the  South  is  the  old  English, 
You  don't  say  so  ?  which  a  Yankee 
will  vary  by,  I  want  to  know  !  Do 
tell  is  also  used  with  inexperienced 
Munchausens  who  by  its  means  may 
often  be  lured  to  repeat  themselves 

Doash.     A  cloak  :  see  Capella. 

Dobbin.  Ribbon.  Dobbin  rig, 
stealing  ribbon. 

Dock.  1.  The  weekly  work  bill  or 
Pole  (q.v.).  2.  The  hospital.  Aa 
verb,  (1)  (Winchester  College),  to 
scratch  out,  tear  out  (as  from  a  book) ; 
also  to  strike  down.  To  go  into  dock, 
to  undergo  salivation. 

Docker.  1.  A  brief  handed  to 
counsel  by  a  prisoner  in  the  dock. 
Legal  etiquette  compels  acceptance  if 
'  marked '  with  a  minimum  fee  of 
£1,  3s.  6d.  2.  A  dock  labourer. 

Dock -walloper.  A  loafer ;  one  who 
loiters  about  docks  and  wharves  ;  also 
an  unemployed  emigrant. 

Dockyarder.  A  skulker :  cf.  Straw- 
yarder  (q.v.). 

Dockyard-horse.  An  officer  better 
at  correspondence  than  at  active 

Doctor.  1.  A  false  die  ;  sometimes 
a  manipulated  card.  To  put  the 
doctor  on  one,  to  cheat.  2.  An  adulter- 
ant. To  keep  the  doctor,  to  make  a 
gractice  of  adulterating  liquor.  3. 
rown  sherry.  [Because  a  doctored 
(q.v).  wine.]  4.  A  ship's  cook.  6. 
(Winchester  College).  The  head 
master.  6.  The  last  throw  of  dice  or 
ninepins.  As  verb,  (1)  to  patch,  adul- 
terate, falsify,  cook.  (2)  To  poison  a 

Doctor  Draw-fart.  A  wandering 

Doctored.  Patched,  adulterated, 
falsified,  cooked. 

Dod-burn  it  I  A  euphemistic  oath ; 
on  the  model  of  Dadbinged  (q.v.). 

Dodder.      Burnt  tobacco  taken 




from  the  bottom  of  a  pipe  and  placed 
on  the  top  of  a  fresh  plug  to  give  a 
stronger  flavour. 

Dodderer.  A  meddler;  always  in 
contempt.  Sometimes  doddering  old 
sheep's  head,  which  also=a  fool. 

D  o  d  d  y.  In  Norfolk  a  person  of 
low  stature.  Sometimes  hodmandod 
and  hoddy-doddy,  '  all  head  and  no 
body.'  Dodman  (dialect),  a  snail. 

Dodfetched.  A  euphemistic  oath. 
Most  of  its  kind  have  originated  in 
New  England,  where  the  descend- 
ants of  the  Puritans  form  the  largest 
portion  of  the  population. 

Dodgasted.    See  Dodfetched. 

Dodge.  To  trick,  swindle,  elude. 
Used  in  various  combinations :  The 
pious  dodge,  a  pretence  of  piety  ;  The 
tidy-dodge,  begging  in  the  streets  with 
tidily  but  poorly  dressed  children, 
etc.  Also,  Nart  (1708) :  see  Lay. 

Dodger.  1.  A  trickster :  e.g.  the 
'  Artful  Dodger '  (Dickens,  Oliver 
Twist,  ch.  viii.) :  FT.,  etre  ficelle,  to  be 
a  dodger  (1611).  2.  A  dram;  pro- 
vincially,  a  nightcap :  see  Go.  3.  A 
hard-baked  cake  or  biscuit :  usually 
corn  -  dodger,  or  when  mixed  with 
beef,  beef-dodgers.  4.  A  handbill. 

Dodo.     A  stupid  old  man. 

Dodrotted.     A  euphemistic  oath. 

Does.  Does  it  ?  A  sarcastic 
retort.  Does  your  mother  know  you're 
out  ?  A  popular  locution,  vague  as 
to  meaning  and  inexact  in  application 
— an  expression  expressive  of  con- 
tempt, incredulity,  sarcasm,  anything 
you  please.  English  variants:  Has  your 
mother  sold  her  mangle  ?  Not  to- 
day, or  it  won't  do,  Mr.  Ferguson  ! 
Sawdust  and  treacle  !  Draw  it  mild  ! 
And  the  rest !  Who  are  you  T  All 
round  my  hat !  Go  it,  ye  cripples  ! 
Shoo,  fly  !  How  does  the  old  thing 
work  ?  Well,  you  know  how  it  is 
yourself !  How's  your  poor  feet  ? 
Why,  certainly !  I'll  have  your 
whelk  !  Not  to-day,  baker,  call  to- 
morrow, and  we'll  take  a  crusty  one  ! 
Do  you  see  any  green  in  my  eye  ? 
Put  that  in  your  pipe  and  smoke  it ! 
Where  are  you  going  on  Sunday  T 
Go  to  Putney  !  Who  stole  the  donkey : 
the  man  in  the  white  hat !  Cough, 
Julia  !  Over  the  bender  !  There  you 
go  with  your  eye  out !  etc.,  etc. 

Dog.  1.  A  man;  sometimes  used 
contemptuously  (cf.  Cat,  a  woman), 
but  more  frequently  in  half-serious 

chiding ;  e.g.  a  sad  dog,  gay  dog,  old 
dog,  etc. :  see  Cove.  Sometimes 
adjectively™  male ;  An  old  dog  at 
it,  expert,  or  accustomed  to  (1596). 
2.  A  burglar's  iron :  see  Jemmy.  To 
go  (or  throw)  to  the  dogs,  see  Go  and 
Demnition  Bow-wows.  Hair  of  the 
dog  that  bit  you  :  see  Hair.  To  blush 
like  a  blue  dog  :  see  Blush.  Dog  biting 
dog,  said  of  actors  who  spitefully 
criticise  each  others'  performance. 
Dog  in  a  blanket,  a  pudding  of  pre- 
served fruit  spread  on  thin  dough, 
rolled  up,  and  boiled  ;  also  Roly-poly 
and  Stocking.  Like  a  dog  in  shoes,  a 
pattering  sound  ;  as  the  noise  of  a 
brisk  walk.  Dog  in  the  manger,  a 
selfish  churl ;  who  does  not  want 
himself,  yet  will  not  let  others  enjoy. 
[From  the  fable.]  (1621).  To  go  to 
the  dogs  :  see  Go.  To  let  sleeping  dogs 
lie  :  see  Sleeping  dogs. 

Dogberry.  A  magistrate  or  stupid 
constable :  see  Beak  and  Copper. 
[From  Much  Ado  about  Nothing.] 

Dog-cheap.  Very  cheap,  of  little 
worth,  foolish.  [Skeat :  from  Swed., 
dog,  very  ;  Latham  :  the  first  syllable 
is  god  =  good,  transposed  +  cheap, 
from  chapman,  a  merchant — hence, 
a  good  bargain.]  Fr.,  bon  marchc 

Dog-collar.  A  stand-up  shirt 
collar,  an  all-rounder  (q.v.). 

Dog-drawn  (old),  adj.,  phr.  Said 
of  a  bitch  from  which  a  dog  baa  been 
removed  by  force. 

Dogger  (Charterhouse).  To 
cheat,  sell  rubbish. 

Doggery.  1.  Transparent  cheating : 
cf.  Dogger.  [Carlyle  in  Frederick  uses 
doggery  =  the  doings  of  a  scurvy  set  of 
soldiers.]  2.  A  low  drinking  saloon. 

Doggoned.    A  euphemistic  oath. 

Doggy.  A  batty  in  the  mining 
districts  is  a  middleman ;  a  doggy  is 
his  manager.  As  adj.,  (1)  Connected 
with,  or  relating  to  dogs.  (2)  Stylish. 

Dog  -  Latin.      Barbarous  or  sham 
Latin  ;  also  Kitchen,  Bog,  Garden,  or 
Apothecaries'  Latin. 
••    Dogs.   1.  Sausages;  otherwise  bags' 
of     mystery     (q.v.),     or     chambers 
of  horrors  (q.v.).     2.   Newfoundland 
Land  Company's  shares;  now  amal- 
gamated with  the  Anglo  -  American 
United,  and  called  Anglos. 
'    Dog's-body.     Pease  pudding. 

Dog's-eared.  Crumpled,  as  the 
leaves  of  a  page  with  much  reading. 




Dog's-meat.  Anything  worthless : 
as  a  bad  book,  a  common  tale,  a 
villainous  picture,  etc. 

Dog-shooter.  1.  A  volunteer.  2. 
(Royal  Military  Academy).  Cadets 
thus  term  a  student  who  accelerates, 
that  is,  who,  being  pretty  certain  of 
not  being  able  to  obtain  a  commission 
in  the  engineers,  or  not  caring  for  it, 
elects  to  join  a  superior  class  before 
the  end  of  the  term. 

Dog's -nose.  A  mixture  of  gin  and 
beer :  see  Drinks. 

Dog's  -  paste.  Sausage  or  mince- 

Dog's  -  portion.  A  lick  and  a 
smell,  i.e.  next  to  nothing. 

Dog's-sleep.  The  lightest  possible 
form  of  slumber. 

Dog's-soup.  Water:  see  Adam's 
ale  and  Fish  broth. 

Dog's-tail.  The  constellation  of 
Ursa  minor  or  Little  Bear. 

Dog  -  stealer.  A  dog-dealer :  sar- 

Doldrums.  Low  spirits;  the  dumps 
or  hump  (q.v.).  [Properly  parts  of 
the  ocean  near  the  Equator  abounding 
in  calms  and  light,  baffling  winds.] 

Dole  (Winchester  College).  A 
stratagem  or  trick.  [Latin  dolus.'] 

D  o  1  i  fi  e  r  (Winchester  College). 
One  who  contrives  a  trick.  See 

Dollar.  A  five-shilling  piece. 
Half-dollar,  half-a-crown,  or  two 
shillings :  see  Caroon. 

Dollop.  A  lot.  All  the  dollop,  the 
whole  thing.  In  Norfolk  to  dollop,  to 
dole  out ;  also  to  '  plank.'  Dolloping, 
throwing  down. 

Dolly.  1.  A  mistress.  2.  A  piece  of 
cloth  use  as  a  sponge.  As  adj . ,  silly. 

Dolly-mop.    A  harlot. 

Dolly  -  shop.  A  marine  store  : 
really  an  illegal  pawn-shop  and  fence 
(q.v.);  also  leaving-shop.  No  ques- 
tions are  asked  ;  all  goods  are  received 
on  the  understanding  that  they  may 
be  repurchased  within  a  given  time  ; 
so  much  per  day  is  charged ;  no 
duplicalo  is  given ;  and  no  books  are 
kept.  From  the  sign  of  the  Black 
Doll  (q.v.).] 

Dome.    The  head  :  see  Crumpet. 

Domestic-afflictions.  A  woman's 

Dome-stick.    A  domestic  servant. 

Dominie.  A  clergyman  ;  also 
(modern  Scots),  a  pedagogue  or 

schoolmaster.     [Latin  dominus,  a  lord 
or  master.]     (1616). 

Dominie  Do-little.  An  impotent 
old  man. 

Domino  !  An  ejaculation  of  com- 
pletion :  e.g.  for  sailors  and  soldiers 
at  the  last  lash  of  the  flogging ;  and 
for  'bus  conductors  when  an  omnibus 
is  full  inside  and  out ;  also,  by  im- 
plication, a  knock-down  blow,  or  the 
last  of  a  series.  [From  the  call  at  the 
end  of  a  game  of  dominoes.] 

Domino  -  box.  The  mouth  :  see 

Dominoes.  1.  The  teeth :  see 
Grinders.  To  sluice  one's  dominoes, 
to  drink.  2.  The  keys  of  a  piano. 

Domino-thumper.     A  pianist. 

Dommerar  (Dommerer,  or  Dum- 
merer).  A  beggar  feigning  to  be  deaf 
and  dumb;  also,  a  madman  (1567). 

Don.  An  adept ;  a  swell ;  also 
a  swaggerer,  a  man  putting  on 
side.  At  the  Universities  a  fellow 
or  officer  of  a  college  ;  whence  the 
vulgar  usage.  [Latin,  dominus,  a  lord, 
through  the  Spanish  title.]  (1665). 
As  adj.,  clever,  expert,  first-rate. 

Dona  (Donna,  Donny,  or  Doner). 
A  woman :  see  Petticoat. 

Donaker.     A  cattle-lifter  (1669). 

Done !  An  interjection  of  accept- 
ance or  agreement  (1602).  As  adj., 
exhausted,  ruined,  cheated,  convicted. 
[See  Do  in  most  of  its  senses.] 

Done-over.  Intoxicated :  see 

Donkey.  1.  A  compositor;  press- 
men are  Pigs  (q.v.).  English  syno- 
nyms: ass,  moke,  galley-slave.  2.  A 
sailor's  chest.  3.  A  blockhead :  see 
Buffle.  A  penny  (twopence  or  three- 
pence) more,  and  up  goes  the  donkey, 
an  exclamation  of  derision.  [Street 
acrobats'  :  the  custom  was  to  finish  off 
the  pitch  by  balancing  a  donkey  at  the 
top  of  a  ladder  on  receipt  of  '  tuppence 
more  '  ;  which  sum,  however  often 
subscribed,  was  always  re-demanded, 
so  that  the  donkey  never  '  went  up ' 
at  all.]  Who  stole  the  donkey  ?  A 
street  cry  once  in  vogue  on  the  ap- 
pearance of  a  man  in  a  white  hat. 
With  a  similar  expression  Who  stole 
the  leg  of  mutton  ?  applied  to  the 
police,  it  had  its  rise  in  a  case  of 
larceny.  To  ride  the  donkey,  to  cheat 
with  weights  and  measures :  also 
Donkey-riding.  To  talk  the  hind  leg 
off  a  donkey :  see  Talk. 




Donkey  -  drops.  Slow  roundhand 
bowling,  such  as  is  seldom  seen  in  good 
matches,  but  is  effective  against  boys, 
is  known  by  the  contumelious  desig- 
nation of  donkey-drops. 

Donkey's-ears.  An  old-fashioned 
shirt-collar  with  long  points. 

Donna.     See  Dona. 

Donnish  (Donnism,  Donnishness) 
(University).  Arrogant,  arrogance 

Donny.    See  Dona. 

Donovans.  Potatoes  :  cf.  Murphy. 
[Donovan,  like  Murphy,  is  a  common 
Irish  patronym.] 

Don's-week.  The  week  before  a 
general  holiday. 

Don't-name-'ems.  Trousers:  see 

Don't.  Don't  you  insh  you  may  get 
it,  a  retort  forcible. 

Doodle.     A  dolt :  see  Buffle. 

Doodled.    Cheated,  done  (1823). 

Doodle  -doo  -man.  A  cockfighter  or 

Doog.     Good. 

D  o  o  k  i  e.  A  penny  show  or  un- 
licensed theatre :  cf.  Gaff. 

Dookin  (Dookering).  Fortune- 
telling  (1857).  Dookin-cove,  a  fortune 

Door -nail.  Dead  as  a  door-nail : 
see  Dead. 

Doorsman.   See  Barker  and  Clicker. 

Doorstep.  A  thick  slice  of  bread 
and  butter  :  Fr.,  fondante. 

Dooteroomus  (or  Doot).  Generic 
for  money :  see  Rhino. 

Dope.  To  drug  with  tobacco :  also 
doping,  the  practice. 

Dopey.  1.  A  beggar's  trulL  2. 
(old).  The  podex. 

Dor  (Old  Westminster  School). 
1.  Leave  to  sleep  awhile  (Kersey, 
1715).  2.  An  affront. 

Doras.  South-Eastern  Railway 
Deferred  Ordinary  Stock,  sometimes 
applied  to  the  '  A  '  Stock. 

D  o  r  b  i  e.  An  initiate.  The  Dor- 
bie's  knock,  a  peculiar  rap  given  by 
masons  as  a  signal  amongst  themselves. 
It  may  be  represented  by  the  time  of 
the  following  notes : 

.  rc£;r! 

Dorcas.  A  sempstress  ;  especially 
one  employing  herself  for  charitable 


BM  D.'---. 

Dose.  1.  A  sentence  of  imprison- 
ment ;  specifically  three  months'  hard 
labour.  English  synonyms :  spell, 
time,  drag,  three  moon,  length,  stretch, 
seven- pennorth,  sixer,  twelver,  lagging. 
2.  A  burglary.  3.  A  beating.  4.  As 
much  liquor  as  one  can  hold.  To  have 
a  dose  of  the  balmy,  to  do  a  sleep.  To 
take  a  grown  man's  dose,  to  take  a  very 
large  quantity  of  liquor. 

Doss  (or  Dorse).  A  bed,  lodging ;  also 
asleep,  or  lib  (q.v.)  (1789).  As  verb, 
to  sleep.  English  synonyms :  to  go  to 
the  arms  of  Murphy  (q.v.).  have  forty 
winks,  go  to  Bedfordshire,  take  a  little 
(or  do  a  dose)  of  the  balmy,  chuck  (or 
do)  a  doss,  snooze,  go  to  by- by,  read 
the  paper,  shut  one's  eyes  to  think, 
retire  to  the  land  of  Nod. 

Dosser.  One  who  frequents  a 
doss  -  house  (q.v.).  'Appy  dossers, 
houseless  vagrants  who  creep  in,  sleep 
on  stairs,  in  passages,  and  in  empty 
cellars.  The  dosser,  the  father  of  a 

Doss-house  (Dossing-crib  or  ken). 
A  common  lodging  -  house  :  Fr.,  baa- 
tengue  and  garno.  Doss  -  money,  the 
price  of  a  night's  lodging  (1838). 

Dossy.     Elegant,  spiff  (q.v.). 

Dot.  A  ribbon.  Dot-drag,  a  watch 
ribbon  (1821). 

Dot  -  and  -  Carry  -  (or  Go-)  one. 
1.  Properly,  a  man  with  a  wooden  leg  ; 
by  implication,  a  Hopping-giles  or 
Lira  ping- Jesus  (q.v.):  Fr.,  banban.  2. 
A  writing-master  or  teacher  of  arith- 
metic (Orose).  As  verb,  to  '  hirple  ' ; 
especially  applied  to  a  person  with 
one  leg  shorter  than  the  other,  or, 
with  an  uneven  keel. 

Dot.  1.  An  item  of  news.  2. 
Money :  see  Rhino. 

D  o  1 1  e  r.  A  reporter,  penny-a- 
liner  :  see  Dot. 

Dottle.    The  same  as  Dodder  (q.v.). 

Dotty.  1.  Feeble,  dizzy,  idiotic ; 
e.g.  Dotty  in  the  crumpet,  weak  in  the 
head  ;  Dotty  in  the  pins,  unsteady  on 
the  legs.  Also  2.  subs.,  a  fancy  man 
of  prostitutes  of  the  lowest  type. 

Doubite.     A  street. 

Double.  1.  A  trick.  2.  An  actor 
playing  two  parts  in  the  same  piece ; 
also  as  a  verb  (1825).  3.  A  turning. 
4.  Repetition  of  a  word  or  sentence. 
Double,  adj.  and  adv.,  is  also  used 
as  an  intensitive  in  many  obscene  or 
offensive  connotations :  e.g.  Double- 
arsed,  large  in  the  posteriors ;  Double- 




duggs  (and  Double-dugged  or  diddied), 
heavy  breasted  ;  Double  -  guts  (and 
Double  -  gutted),  excessively  corpu- 
lent ;  Double-hocked,  abnormally  thick 
ankled  ;  Double  -  mouthed,  Mouth- 
almighty  (q.v.) ;  and  so  forth.]  To 
put  the  double  on,  to  circumvent.  To 
tip  (or  give)  the  double,  to  run  or  slip 
away  openly  or  unperceived ;  to 
double  as  a  hare  ;  formerly  to  escape 
one's  creditors.  Also  to  Tip  one  the 
Dublin  packet :  see  Amputate  (1781). 

Double-back.  To  go  back  upon 
oneself,  an  action,  an  opinion. 

Double-barrel.  A  field  or  opera 

Double-bott  omed .  Insincere, 
saying  one  thing  and  meaning  another. 

Double-breasted  feet.  Club  feet : 
also  Double-breasters. 

Double-cross  (or  Double-double). 
Winning  or  doing  one's  best  to  win 
after  engaging  to  lose  or  Mike  (q.v.). 

Double-distilled.  Superlative :  e.g. 
a  double  -  distilled  whopper,  a  tre- 
mendous lie. 

Double  -  dutch.  Unintelligible 
speech,  jargon,  gibberish.  It  was  all 
Double  -  dutch  to  me,  I  didn't  under- 
stand a  word  of  it. 

Double-event.  Backing  a  horse  for 
two  races. 

Double  -  firm.  A  £10  note :  see 

Double-header.  A  false  coin  with  a 
head  on  the  obverse  and  reverse,  made 
by  soldering  two  split  coins. 

Double-juggs.  The  posteriors 

Double-lines.  Ship  casualties:  from 
the  manner  of  entering  at  Lloyd's. 

Doubler.  A  blow  in  the  side  or 
stomach,  causing  a  man  to  bend  from 
pain  or  lack  of  wind. 

Double  -  ribbed.  Pregnant :  see 

Double-shotted.  Said  of  a  whisky 
(or  brandy)  and  soda,  containing 
twice  the  normal  quatity  of  alcohol. 

Double-shuffle.  1.  A  hornpipe  step 
in  which  each  foot  is  shuffled  twice  in 
succession,  the  more  rapidly  and 
neatly  the  better.  2.  A  trick  or  fake- 

Double-slang.    See  Slangs. 

Doublet.  A  doctored  diamond 
or  other  precious  stone.  The  face  is 
real  and  this  is  backed  up  by  a  piece  of 
coloured  glass.  Cf.  Triplet. 

Double-thumber.   A  prodigious  lie. 

Double-tongued.  Mendacious, 
given  to  change  opinions  in  changing 

Double-tongued  squib.  A  double- 
barrelled  gun. 

D  o  u  b  1  e  -  u  p.  1.  To  punish. 
Doubled-up,  collapsed  (1819).  2.  To 
pair  off,  chum  with. 

Dough.      Pudding. 

Dough-baked.  Deficient  in  intel- 
lect. In  U.S.A.,  easily  moulded :  said 
of  politicians  (1675). 

Doughy.  A  baker :  see  Master  of 
the  rolls. 

Douse.     See  Dowse. 

Dover.  A  made-dish,  hash,  re- 

Dovers.  South  Eastern  Railway 
Ordinary  Stock. 

Dove.  A  member  of  St.  Catharine's 
College,  Cambridge.  It  is  said  that 
the  members  of  St.  Catharine's  Hall 
were  first  of  all  called  Puritans, 
from  the  derivation  of  the  name  of 
their  patroness  from  KoQuipeiv.  The 
dove  being  the  emblem  of  purity, 
to  change  a  name  from  Puritans  to 
doves  was  but  one  short  step.  Soiled 
dove,  a  high-class  prostitute. 

Dove-tart.  A  pigeon-pie.  (Doo- 
tairt  is  excellent  Scots  for  the  same 
thing.)  Cf.  Snake-tart,  eel  pie. 

Dowlas.  A  draper.  [From  dowlas, 
now  a  kind  of  towelling,  but  mentioned 
by  Shakespeare  ('  1  Henry  IV.,'  m.  in'., 
1597)  as  a  material  for  shirts.  Popu- 
larised as  a  sobriquet  by  Colman's 
Daniel  Dowlas  in  The  Heir  at  Law. 

Dowling.  A  compulsory  game  of 
football.  [£ow\oe.  ] 

Down.  1.  Suspicion,  alarm,  a 
diversion.  There  is  no  down,  all  is 
quiet,  it  is  safe  to  go  on  (1821).  2. 
Small  beer.  Up,  bottled  beer.  As 
adv.  (1)  dispirited,  hard-up,  in  dis- 
grace. Found  in  various  combina- 
tions :  e.g.  Down  in  the  mouth  (or 
dumps),  dejected ;  Down  on  one's 
luck,  reduced  in  circumstances  ;  Down 
at  heel,  shabby  ;  Down  at  one's  back- 
seam,  out  of  luck ;  Down  to  bed- 
rock, penniless,  etc.,  etc.  (1608).  (2) 
acquainted  with,  Fly  (q.v.),  Up  to 
(q.v.).  Also  in  combination:  down 
to,  down  on,  and  down  as  a  hammer 
(1610).  (3)  Hang-dog.  As  verb,  to 
put  on  one's  back ;  whether  by  force  or 
by  persuasion.  To  be  down  a  pit, 
to  be  very  much  taken  with  a  part. 
To  be  (or  come)  down  upon  one,  to  be- 



rate,  attack,  oppose.  Sometimes  with 
a  tag :  e.g.  like  a  thousand  (or  a  load)  of 
bricks  ;  like  one  o'clock ;  like  a  tom- 
tit on  a  horse  turd,  etc.  To  be  down 
pin,  to  be  out  of  sorts,  despondent. 
To  drop  down  on  one,  to  discover  one's 
character  or  designs.  To  put  a  down 
upon  one,  to  peach  so  as  to  cause  detec- 
tion or  failure.  To  put  one  down  to 
[a  thing],  to  apprize,  elucidate,  or 
explain  ;  to  coach  or  prime ;  to  let 
one  into  the  know.  To  take  down  a 
peg  :  see  Peg.  Down  the  road,  vulgarly 
showy,  flash.  Down  to  dandy :  see 
up  to  Dick.  Down  to  the  ground,  en- 
tirely, thoroughly,  to  the  last  degree 

Downed.  Tricked,  beaten,  sat 

Downer.  1.  A  sixpence :  see 
Rhino.  In  U.S.A.,  a  five-cent,  piece. 
[Cf.  Deaner  (q.v.) ;  now  corrupted 
into  Tanner  (q.v.).]  2.  A  knock- 
down blow  :  cf.  Bender,  Doubler,  etc. 

Down-hills.  Dice  cogged  to  run 
on  the  low  numbers  (Grose). 

Downs.  Tothill  Fields  prison  :  see 

Downstairs.     HelL 

Downy.  A  bed  :  also  Downy  flea- 
pasture.  As  adj.,  artful,  knowing 
(q.v.)  (1823).  To  do  the  downy:  see 

Downey-bit.     A  half-fledged  girl. 

Downy-cove  (or  bird).  A  clever 
rogue :  in  pi.,  the  downies.  English 
synonyms :  mizzler,  leary  bloke  or 
cove,  sly  dog,  old  dog,  nipper,  file, 
Greek,  one  that  knows  what's  o'clock, 
one  who  knows  the  ropes,  or  his 
way  about,  don,  dodger,  dab,  doll's 
eye-weaver,  dam  -  macker,  shaver, 
dagen,  chickalcary  -  cove,  ikey  bloke, 
artful  member,  one  that  is  up  to  the 
time  of  day,  fly  cove,  one  that's  in 
the  know,  one  that  has  his  eye-teeth 
skinned,  or  that  has  cut  his  wisdoms. 

Dowry.  A  lot,  a  great  deal ; 
dowry  of  parny,  a  lot  of  rain  or  water. 

Dowse  (or  Douse).  A  verb  of 
action :  e.g.  Dowse  your  dog  vane, 
take  the  cockade  out  of  your  hat ; 
Dowse  the  glim,  put  out  the  candle; 
Dowse  on  the  chops,  a  blow  in  the 

Dout.  Literally,  to  do  out ;  as 
Dup  (q.v.),  to  do  up,  and  Don,  to  do 
on.  See  Hamlet,  iv.  Then  up  he 
rose  and  donned  his  clothes,  and 
dupped  the  chamber  door. 

Doxology  -  works.  A  church  or 

Doxy.  A  mistress,  prostitute,  oc- 
casionally, a  jade,  a  girl,  even  a  wife. 
In  West  of  England,  a  baby  (1567). 

Dozing-crib.    A  bed  :  see  Kip. 

D.Q.  On  the  D.Q.,  on  the  dead  quiet : 
cf.  Strict  Q.T.,  etc. 

Drab.  1.  Poison;  also  medicine. 
Also  as  a  verb.  2.  A  strumpet. 
Drabbing,  strumming. 

Drabbut.  A  vague  and  gentle 
form  of  imprecation.  Drabbut  your 
back,  confound  you. 

Draft.  Draft  on  Aldgate  pump,  a 
fictitious  banknote  or  fraudulent  bill. 
See  N.  and  Q.,  7  S.,  i.  387-493 

Drag.  1.  A  cart  of  any  kind  ;  now 
usually  applied  to  a  four-horse  coach. 
2.  A  chain.  3.  A  street  or  road.  Back 
drag,  a  back  street.  4.  Three  months' 
imprisonment ;  also  Three  Moon  :  see 
Dose.  Done  for  a  drag,  convicted  of 
Dragging  (q.v.) :  see  Drag,  a  term  of 
imprisonment.  6.  Feminine  attire 
worn  by  men.  To  go  on  (or  flash)  the 
drag,  to  wear  women's  attire  for  im- 
moral purposes.  6.  A  lure,  trick, 
stratagem.  7.  A  fox  prepared  with 
herring  or  aniseed  and  brought  to 
covert  in  a  bag.  8.  See  Dragging. 
To  put  on  the  drag,  to  ease  off  or  go 
slow  ;  also  to  put  on  pressure.  To 
drag  the  pudding,  to  get  the  sack 
just  before  Christmas-time. 

Drag-cove.  A  carter  or  driver  of 
a  Drag  (q.v.). 

Dragging.     Robbing  vehicles. 

Drag  -  lay.  The  practice  of  rob- 
bing vehicles  (Grose). 

Dragon.  A  sovereign,  20s.  :  see 
Rhino.  To  water  the  dragon,  to  urinate, 
'  pump  ship,'  '  rack  off.' 

Dragsman.  A  coachman  ;  also  a 
Drag-sneak  (q.v.). 

Drag -sneak.  A  thief  who  makes  a 
speciality  of  robbing  vehicles  (1781). 

Drain.  1.  A  drink :  see  Go.  To 
do  a  drain  (wet,  or  common  sewer),  to 
take  a  friendly  drink  (1836).  2.  Gin. 
[From  its  diuretic  qualities.] 

Drains.  A  ship's  cook ;  The 
Doctor  (q.v.). 

Drammer.    See  Drummer. 

Draper.    See  Gammon  the  Draper. 

Drat  (Dratted).  A  mild  and  in- 
definite imprecation  of  contempt,  or 
impatience.  [A  corruption  of  God 
rot  it.] 




Draught.  A  privy :  see  Mrs.  Jones 

Draw.  1.  An  undecided  contest. 
[An  abbreviation  of  '  drawn  game.'] 
2.  An  attraction ;  e.g.  an  article, 
popular  preacher,  successful  play,  and 
so  forth.  3.  A  stroke  with  the  surface 
of  the  bat  inclined  to  the  ground.  As 
verb,  (1)  to  attract  public  attention. 
(2)  To  steal,  pick  pockets.  To  draw  a 
wipe  (or  ticker),  to  prig  a  handkerchief 
or  watch  ;  to  draw  a  damper,  to  empty 
a  till  (Grose).  (3)  To  tease  to  vexation, 
take  in,  make  game  of.  (4)  To  bring 
out,  cause  to  act,  write,  or  speak,  by 
flattery,  mis-statement,  or  deceit. 
Also,  to  draw  out ;  Fr.,  tirer  les  vers  du 
nez.  (5)  To  ease  of  money :  e.g.  I 
drew  him  for  a  hundred ;  She  drew 
me  for  a  dollar  !  To  draw  on  [a  man], 
to  use  a  knife.  To  draw  a  bead  on,  to 
attack  with  rifle  or  revolver.  To 
draw  a  straight  furrow,  to  live  up- 
rightly. To  draw  plaster,  to  fish  for 
a  man's  intentions.  To  draw  straws, 
to  be  almost  asleep,  drowsy.  To  draw 
teeth,  to  wrench  knockers  and  handles 
from  street  doors.  To  draw  the 
badger :  see  Badger.  To  draw  blanks,  to 
fail,  be  disappointed.  To  draw  the 
bow  up  to  the  ear  :  see  Bow.  To  draw 
(or  pull)  the  long  bow :  see  Bow.  To 
draw  the  cork,  to  make  blood  flow  ;  to 
tap  the  claret  (q.v.).  To  draw  the 
King's  (or  Queen's)  picture,  to  manufac- 
ture base  money.  To  draw  wool  (or 
worsted),  to  irritate  ;  foment  a  quarrel : 
cf.  Comb  one's  hair.  Draw  it  mild  ! 
an  interjection  of  (1)  derision  ;  (2)  in- 
credulity; (3)  supplication  :  cf.  Come 
it  strong.  Draw  boy,  a  superior 
article  ticketed  and  offered  at  a  figure 
lower  than  its  value. 

Drawer-on.  An  appetiser  :  used 
only  of  food,  as  Puller-on  (q.v.)  of 
drink.  Both  are  in  Massinger. 

Drawers.  Embroidered  stock- 
ings (1567). 

Draw-fart  (or  Doctor  Draw-fart). 
A  wandering  quack. 

Draw  -  latch.  A  thief ;  also  a 
loiterer  (1631). 

Draw  -  off.  To  throw  back  the 
body  to  strike ;  He  drew  off,  and 
delivered  on  the  left  peeper.  A  sailor 
would  say,  He  hauled  off  and  slipped 

Dreadful.  A  sensational  story, 
newspaper,  or  print :  see  Awful,  and 
Shilling  Shocker. 

Dredgerman.  A  river  thief  under 
pretence  of  dredging  up  coals  and  such 
like  from  the  bottom  of  the  river. 
They  hang  about  barges  and  other 
undecked  craft,  and  when  opportunity 
serves,  throw  any  property  they  can 
lay  their  hands  on  overboard:  in  order, 
slyly,  to  dredge  it  up  when  the  vessel 
is  gone.  Sometimes  they  dexterously 
use  their  dredges  to  whip  away  any- 
thing that  may  lie  within  reach.  Some 
are  mighty  neat  at  this,  and  the  ac- 
complishment is  called  Dry  dredging. 

Dress  (Winchester  College).  The 
players  who  come  next  in  order  after 
Six  or  Fifteen.  [So  called  because 
they  come  down  to  the  matches  ready 
dressed  to  act  as  substitutes  if  re- 
quired.] To  dress  a  hat,  to  exchange 
pilferings  :  e.g.  to  swap  pickings  from 
a  hosier's  stock  with  a  shoemaker's 
assistant  for  boots  or  shoes.  To 
dress  down,  to  beat,  scold  (1715).  To 
be  dressed  like  Xmas  beef :  see  Beef. 
To  dress  to  death  (within  an  inch  of 
one's  life,  or  to  kill),  to  dress  in  the 
extreme  of  fashion. 

Dress-house.  A  brothel :  cf.  Dress- 

Dressing  (or  Dressing -down). 
Correction,  manual  or  verbal ;  also 

Dress -lodger.  A  woman  boarded, 
fed,  and  clothed  by  another,  and  pay- 
ing by  prostitution. 

Dressy.     Fond  of  dress. 

Drilled.     Shot  through  the  body. 

Drinks.  The  subjoined  lists  will 
be  of  interest.  Invitations  to  drink — 
What'll  you  have  ?  Nominate  your 
pizen  !  Will  you  irrigate  ?  Will  you 
tod  ?  Wet  your  whistle  ?  How'll 
you  have  it  ?  Let  us  stimulate  ! 
Let's  drive  another  nail !  What's 
your  medicine  ?  Willst  du  trinken  ? 
Try  a  little  anti-abstinence  ?  Twy 
(zwei)  lager  !  Your  whisky's  wait- 
ing. Will  you  try  a  smile  ?  Will  you 
take  a  nip  ?  Let's  get  there.  Try  a 
little  Indian  ?  Come  and  see  your 
pa  ?  Suck  some  corn  juice  ?  Let's 
liquor  up.  Let's  go  and  see  the  baby. 
Responses  to  invitations  to  drink. — 
Here's  into  your  face  !  Here's  how  ! 
Here's  at  you  !  Don't  care  if  I  do. 
Well,  I  will.  I'm  thar !  Accepted, 
unconditionally.  Well,  I  don't  mind. 
Sir,  your  most.  Sir,  your  utmost. 
You  do  me  proud !  Yes,  sir-reo  ! 
With  you — yes  !  Anything  to  oblige. 




On  time.  I'm  with  you.  Count  me 
in.  I  subscribe.  Synonyms  for  a 
drink  [i.e.  a  portion],  generally,  or 
when  taken  at  specified  times. — Anti- 
lunch,  appetiser,  ball,  bullock's  eye 
(a  glass  of  port),  bead,  bosom  friend, 
bucket,  bumper,  big-reposer,  chit- 
chat, cheerer,  cinder,  corker,  cobbler, 
damper,  or  something  damp,  dannie, 
drain,  dram,  deoch-an-doras,  digester, 
eye-opener,  entr'acte,  fancy  smile, 
flash,  flip,  facer,  forenoon,  go,  gill, 
heeltap,  invigorator,  Johnny,  joram, 
morning  rouser,  modicum,  nip,  or 
nipperkin,  night  cap,  nut,  pistol  shot, 
pony,  pill,  quantum,  refresher,  rouser, 
reposer,  shout,  smile,  swig,  sleeve- 
button,  something,  slight  sensation, 
shant,  sparkler,  settler,  stimulant, 
soother,  thimble-full,  tift,  taste,  tooth- 
full,  Timothy  :  see  Go.  General  syn- 
onyms for  drink. — Breaky  -  leg,  bub, 
crater  ( also  =  whisky),  fuddle,  gargle, 
grog,  guzzle,  lap,  lush,  neck-oil,  nectar, 
poison,  slum-gullion,  swizzle,  stingo, 
tipple,  tittey,  toddy :  see  Tipple. 
Synonyms  for  beer  (including  stout). 
— Act  of  Parliament ;  artesian,  barley, 
belch,  belly-vengeance,  bevy  or  bevvy, 
brownstone,  bum-clink,  bung-juice, 
bunker,  cold-blood,  down  (see  Up) ; 
English  burgundy  (porter),  gatter, 
half-and-half,  heavy-wet,  John  Bar- 
leycorn, knock-down  or  knock- me- 
down,  oil  of  barley,  perkin,  ponge, 
pongelow,  or  ponjello,  rosin,  rot-gut, 
sherbet,  stingo,  swankey,  swipes, 
swizzle,  up  (bottled  ale  or  stout) :  see 
Swipes.  Synonyms  for  Brandy. — 
Ball  of  fire,  bingo,  cold-tea,  cold- 
nantz  ;  French  elixir  or  cream  :  see 
French  Elixir.  Synonyms  for  whisky. 
— Aqua  vitas,  bald  -  face,  barley  -  bree, 
breaky  -  leg,  bottled  -  earthquake, 
bum  -  clink,  caper  -  juice,  cappie, 
curse  of  Scotland,  family-disturbance, 
farintosh,  forty-rod  lightning,  grapple- 
the-rails,  hard  stuff,  hell-broth,  in- 
fernal compound,  kill  -  the  -  beggar, 
lightning,  liquid  fire,  moonlight,  moon- 
shine, mountain-dew,  old  man's  milk, 
pine  -  top,  railroad,  red  -  eye,  rotgut, 
screech,  Simon  pure,  sit  -  on  -  a  -  rock 
(rye  whisky)  soul  -  destroyer,  square 
face,  stone-fence,  tangle-foot,  the  real 
thing,  the  sma'  still,  white-eye :  see 
Old  man's  milk.  Synonyms  for  gin. 
Blue  ruin,  blue-tape,  Brian  O'Lynn 
(rhyming),  cat-water,  cream  of  the 
valley,  daffy,  diddle,  drain,  duke,  eye- 

water, frog's  wine,  juniper,  jackey, 
lap,  max,  misery,  old  Tom,  ribbon, 
satin,  soothing-syrup,  stark-naked, 
strip  •  me  -  naked,  tape,  white  satin, 
tape,  or  wine  :  see  Satin.  Synonyms 
for  champagne. — Cham  or  chammy, 
boy,  fiz,  dry,  bitches'  wine.  Synonyms 
for  port. — lied  fustian  (q.v.).  Syno- 
nyms for  sherry — Bristol  milk,  white 
wash.  Terms  implying  various  degrees 
of  intoxication :  eee  Screwed.  See 
also  lists  under  Elbow  -  crooker, 
Lush,  Lushcrib,  Lushington,  Gallon 

Dripper.    A  gleet. 

Dripping.  A  cook  ;  especially  an 
indifferent  one :  FT.,  fripier  and 
daube  :  cf.  Doctor  and  Slushy  (q.v.),  a 
ship's  cook. 

Drive.  A  blow.  To  lei  drive,  to  aim 
a  blow,  strike.  Four  rogues  in  buck- 
ram let  drive  at  me. — Shakespeare, 
As  verb,  to  send  a  ball  off  the  bat  with 
full  force  horizontally.  To  drive  at, 
to  aim  at :  e.g.  What  are  you  driv- 
ing at  T  What  do  you  mean  T  (1697). 
To  drive  a  bargain,  to  conduct  a 
negotiation,  make  the  best  terms 
one  can,  dispute  a  condition  or  a  price, 
succeed  in  a  deal  (1580).  To  drive  a 
humming  (or  roaring)  trade,  to  do  well 
in  business  (1625).  To  drive  oneself 
to  the  wash,  to  drive  in  a  basket-chaise. 
To  drive  pigs  to  market,  to  snore.  Fr., 
jouer  d  la  ronfle  (or  de  Forgue),  also 
fumer.  To  drive  turkeys  to  market,  to 
reel  and  wobble  in  drink.  To  drive 
French  horses,  to  vomit.  From  the 
Hue  done  of  French  carters  to  their 

Driver's  pint.     A  gallon. 

Driz.  Lace:  Fr.,  miche  (in  allusion 
to  the  holes  in  a  loaf  of  bread). 

Driz-fencer.  A  street  vendor  of 
lace,  also  a  receiver  of  stolen  material. 
fc  Droddum.  The  posteriors  (1786). 

Dromaky.  A  prostitute :  north  of 
England,  particularly  N.  and  S. 
Shields.  [From  a  strolling  actress 
who  personated  Andromache.] 

Dromedary.  A  bungler ;  specifically 
a  bungling  thief :  also  Purple  drome- 

Drop.     See  Drop  game.     As  verb, 

(1)  to  lose,  give,  or  part  with  (1812). 

(2)  To  relinquish,  abandon,  leave  :  e.g. 
to  drop  an  acquaintance,  to  gradually 
withdraw  from  intercourse :  cf.  Cut. 
To  drop  the  main  toby,  to  turn  out  of 
the  main  road  (1711).     (3)  To  knock 



D.  Ts. 

down :  cf.  To  drop  into,  to  thrash.  (4) 
To  bring  down  with  a  shot.  To  drop 
anchor,  to  pull  up  a  horse.  To  drop 
one's  anchor,  to  sit  (or  settle),  down. 
To  drop  a  cog,  see  Drop-game.  To 
drop  one's  flag,  to  salute  ;  also  to  sub- 
mit, lower  one's  colours.  To  drop 
(hang,  slip,  or  walk)  into,  to  attack : 
also  cf.  Drop  on  to.  To  drop  off  the 
hooks,  to  die  :  see  Hop  the  twig.  To 
drop  one's  leaf,  to  die  :  see  Hop  the 
twig.  To  drop  on  one,  to  accuse  or 
call  to  account  without  warning.  Also 
to  thrash.  To  drop  the  scabs  in,  to 
work  button-holes.  To  drop  one's 
wax,  to  evacuate  or  '  rear.'  To  get 
(or  have)  the  drop  on,  to  hold  at  dis- 
advantage, forestall.  To  have  a  drop 
in  the  eye,  to  be  slightly  drunk :  see 
Screwed  (1738).  Drop  it\  Cease! 
Cut  it !  Cheese  it ! 

Drop -game.  A  variety  of  the  con- 
fidence trick :  The  thief  picks  out  his 
victim,  gets  in  front  of  him,  and  pre- 
tends to  pick  up  (say)  a  pocket-book, 
(snide)  which  he  induces  the  green- 
horn to  buy  for  cash.  The  object  is  a 
Cog,  and  the  operator  a  Dropper  or 

Dropped-on.     Disappointed. 

Dropper.  A  specialist  in  the  Drop- 
game  (q.v.) :  also  Drop-cove  (1669). 

Dropping.  A  beating ;  I'll  give 
you  a  good  dropping,  i.e.  I'll  thrash 
you  severely. 

Droppings.  The  excrement  of 
horses  and  sheep. 

Drown.    See  Miller. 

Drudge.     Whisky  in  its  raw  state. 

Drug.  To  administer  a  narcotic. 
A  drug  in  the  market,  anything  so 
common  as  not  to  be  vendible. 

Drum.  1.  An  entertainment ;  now  a 
tea  before  dinner ;  a  Kettle-drum  (q.v.) 
(1750).  2.  A  road,  street,  or  highway. 
English  synonyms:  drag,  toby,  high  (or 
main)  toby,  pad,  donbite,  finger  and 
thumb  (rhyming).  3.  The  ear.  4.  A 
building  ;  Hazard  -  drum,  a  gambling 
hell ;  Flash  -  drum,  a  brothel ;  Cross- 
drum,  a  thieves'  tavern  ;  In  U.S.A.,  a 
drinking  place.  5.  A  bundle  carried 
on  tramp  ;  generally  worn  as  a  roll 
over  the  right  shoulder  and  under  the 
left  arm  :  also  Bluey  and  Swag  (q.v.). 
6.  A  small  workshop. 

Drummer.  1.  A  horse,  the  action  of 
whose  forelegs  is  irregular  (Grose).  2. 
A  thief,  who  before  robbing,  narcotises 
or  otherwise  stupefies  his  victim.  3. 

A  commercial  traveller ;  also  Ambas- 
sador of  Commerce  or  Bagman  (q.v.) ; 
Fr.,  gaudissart  or  hirondette.  See 
Drum,  a  road.  Old  -  time  pedlars 
announced  themselves  by  beating  a 
drum  at  the  town's  end.]  (1827).  4. 
A  trousers'  maker,  Kickseys' -builder 

Drumstick  -  cases.  Trousers  :  see 

Drumsticks.  1.  The  legs — especially 
of  birds.  English  synonyms  :  cheese- 
cutters  (bandy-legs),  stumps,  cabbage- 
stumps,  pins,  gams,  notches,  shanks, 
stems,  stumps,  clubs,  marrow-bones, 
cat-sticks,  trap-sticks,  dripping-sticks, 
trams,  trespassers,  pegs,  knights  of  the 

Drunk.  A  debauch  ;  by  implica- 
tion, a  drunkard,  i.e.  a  drunk  and 
disorderly  person.  On  the  drunk,  on 
the  drink,  i.e.  drinking  for  days  on 
end.  Drunk  as  Davy's  sow,  excessively 
drunk :  see  Screwed. 

Drunkard.  To  come  the  drunkard,  to 
feign  drunkenness  ;  also  to  be  drunk. 
To  be  quite  the  gay  drunkard,  to  be 
more  or  less  in  liquor. 

Drunken-chalks.  Good  conduct 
badges :  see  Chalk. 

Drury  -  Lane  Ague.  A  venereal 
disease  :  see  Ladies'  Fever. 

Drury-Lane  Vestal.     A  prostitute. 

Dry.     See  Lime-basket. 

Dry-boots.   A  dry  humorist  (Grose). 

Dry-hash.  A  miser  ;  also,  by  im- 
plication, a  loafer. 

Dry-land!  (rhyming).  '  You 
understand  ! ' 

Dryland  -  sailor.  See  Turnpike 

Dry-lodging.  Accommodation 
without  board. 

Dry  -  nurse.  A  guardian,  bear- 
leader, tutor ;  a  junior  who  instructs 
an  ignorant  chief  in  his  duties  (1614). 

Dry-room.     A  prison  :  see  Cage. 

Dry  -  shave.  Rubbing  the  chin 
with  the  fingers  ;  also  as  a  verb.  The 
action  implies  a  certain  effrontery. 

Dry  -  up.  LA  failure,  Columbus 
(q.v.);  contrast  with  Draw,  sense  2. 
As  verb,  to  cease  talking,  abandon  a 
purpose  or  position,  stop  work.  As  an 
interjection,  Hold  your  jaw  ! 

Dry-walking.  A  hard-up  soldier's 

D.  T's.  Delirium  tremens :  see  Jim- 
jams.  The  D.  T.,  The  Daily  Tele- 




Dub.  1.  A  k  ey  ;  specifically  a  master 
key  :  see  Locksmith's  daughter  (1789). 
As  verb,  to  open.  Dub  your  mummer  • 
Open  your  mouth.  Dub  the,  jigger, 
open  the  door.  Also  by  confusion,  to 
shut  or  fasten  (1567).  Dub  at  a 
Knapping  Jigger,  a  turnpike  keeper. 
To  dub  up,  to  hand  over,  pay,  fork  out. 
FT.,  f oncer,  abouler.  Formerly,  to  lock 
up,  secure,  button  one's  pocket. 

Dub  her.  1.  The  mouth  or  tongue ; 
mum  your  dubber ;  hold  your  tongue. 
2.  A  picklock  (Grose). 

Dub-cove.     See  Dubsman. 

Dub-lay.     Using  picklocks. 

Dublin-dissector.    A  cudgel. 

Dubs  (Winchester  College). 

Dub  mans  (or  Dubs).  A  turnkey, 
gaoler.  English  synonyms :  jigger- 
dubber,  screw. 

Ducats.  1.  Money :  see  Rhino. 
[Probably  from  Shylock  in  '  The  Mer- 
chant of  Venice.']  2.  Specifically  a 
railway  ticket ;  also  pawnbroker's 
duplicate,  raffle-card,  or  Brief  (q.v.). 
Also  Ducket. 

D  u  c  e.  Twopence  :  see  Rhino. 

Duck.  1.  Scraps  of  meat ;  other- 
wise Block-ornaments,  Stickings,  Fag- 
gots, Manablins,  or  Chuck  (q.v.). 

2.  (Winchester   College).     The   face. 
To  make  a  duck,  to  make  a  grimace. 

3.  A  draw  or  decoy.     [An  abbreviation 
of  decoy-duck.]    4.  A  term  of  endear- 
ment ;  also  used  in  admiration  ;  e.g. 
a  duck  of  a   bonnet.     Also  ducky : 
duck  of  diamonds  being  a  superlative. 
5.     A    metal-cased    watch ;    i.e.    old 
watch  movements  in  German  silver 
cases.     To  make  a  duck   (or  duck's 
egg),  to  make  no  score,  to  crack  one's 
egg,   get  a  pair  of  spectacles.     The 
duck  that  runs  (or  grinds)  the  gospel 
mill,  a  clergyman  :  see  Devil-dodger. 
Lame     duck     (q.v.     post).       Oerman 
duck  (q.v.  post).     To  do  a  duck,  to  hide 
under  the  seat  of  a  public  conveyance 
with  a  view  to  avoid  paying  the  fare. 

Ducket.     See  Ducat. 

Duck-footed.  Said  of  people  who 
walk  like  a  duck ;  i.e.  with  the  toes 
turned  inwards. 

Ducking.  To  go  ducking,  to  go 

Ducks.  1.  Linen  trousers ;  generally 
White  ducks:  see  Kicks.  2.  Aylesbury 
Dairy  Co.  shares.  3.  An  official  of  the 
Bombay  service.  To  chance  the  ducks 

(q.v.)  ante.  To  make  ducks  and 
drakes  of  one's  money,  to  squander 
money  as  lavishly  as  stones  are  squan- 
dered at  '  ducks  and  drakes.'  [In  al- 
lusion to  the  childish  game.]  (1605). 

Duck's- bill.  A  tongue  cut  in  a 
piece  of  stout  paper  and  pasted  on 
at  the  bottom  of  the  tympan  sheet. 

Ducky  (or  Duck  of  Diamonds). 
See  Duck. 

Dudder  (Dudsman,  or  Duffer). 
A  pedlar  of  pretended  smuggled  wares 
— gown-pieces,  silk  waistcoats,  etc. 
The  term  and  practice  are  obsolete, 
though  in  a  few  seaports,  London 
especially,  they  survived  till  recently 
in  a  modified  form.  Fr.,  marottier. 

Dude.  A  swell,  fop,  masher:  see 
Dandy.  Dudette  (or  Dudinette),  a 
young  girl  affecting  the  airs  of  a  belle ; 
Dudine,  a  female  masher. 

Dude-hamfatter.  A  wealthy  pig- 

Duds.  Clothes  ;  sometimes  old 
clothes  or  rags  (1440).  Doddery,  a 
clothier's  booth  (De  Foe's  Tour  of  Ot. 
Brit.,  p.  125).  In  America  applied  to 
any  kind  of  portable  property.  To 
angle  for  duds,  see  Anglers ;  To  sweat 
duds,  to  pawn. 

Dudsman.    See  Dudder. 

Dues.  Money  :  see  Rhino  :  spec, 
a  share  of  booty.  To  tip  the  dues,  to 
pay,  to  hand  over  a  share. 

Duff.  1.  Specifically,  to  sell  flashy 
goods  as  pretended  contraband  or 
stolen  ;  hence  to  cheat.  Duffers  (or 
Men  at  the  duff),  pedlars  of  flash. 
Duffing,  the  practice  ;  as  an  adjective, 
spurious  ( 1 78 1 ).  2.  To  rub  up  the  nap 
of  old  clothes  to  improve  their  ap- 
pearance. Duffer,  one  who  performs 
this  operation,  whilst  the  article 
operated  upon  is  also  a  duffer  by 
virtue  of  the  fact  itself. 

D  u  ff  e  r.  1.  A  pedlar ;  specific- 
ally a  hawker  of  brummagem  (q.v.), 
and  so-called  smuggled  goods.  In 
the  population  returns  of  1831  duffer, 
one  who  gets  a  living  by  cheating 
pawnbrokers.  2.  Anything  worth- 
less or  sham.  3.  A  female  smuggler. 

Duffer-out.     To  get  exhausted. 

D  u  m  n  g.  False,  counterfeit, 

Dugs.  The  paps ;  once  used 
without  reproach,  of  women ;  now 
only  in  contempt  except  of  animals  : 
see  Dairy.  [From  same  stem  as 




Duke.  1.  Gin :  see  Drinks.  2.  A 
horse.  3.  Any  transaction  in  the 
shape  of  a  burglary ;  e.g.  I  was 
jemming  to  their  duke,  I  was  privy 
to  the  robbery. 

Duke  Humphrey.     See  Dine. 

Duke  -  of  -  Limbs.  An  awkward, 
uncouth  man  ;  specifically  one  with 
ungainly  limbs  (Grose). 

Duke  -  of  -  York  (rhyming  slang). 
To  walk  ;  also,  to  talk. 

Dukes.  The  hands  :  see  Bunch  of 
fives.  To  grease  the  dukes,  to  bribe  ; 
also  to  pay.  To  put  up  the  dukes,  to 
put  up  one's  hands  for  combat. 

Dukey.     See  Dookie  and  Gaff. 

Dulcamara.  A  quack  doctor. 
[From  the  name  of  a  character  in 
Donizetti's  V Elixir  d?  Amour  (1845).] 

Dull.  Dull  in  the  eye,  intoxicated  : 
see  Screwed. 

Dull -swift.     A  sluggish  messenger. 

Dumb-fogged.     Confused. 

Dum  b -f  o  ozled.  Confounded, 

Dumbfound  (Dumfound,  Dumb- 
founding, Dumbfounded  or  Dum- 
foundered).  To  perplex,  confound, 
etc.  (1690). 

Dummacker.     A  knowing  person. 

Dummerer.     See  Dommerar. 

Dummock.     The  posteriors. 

Dummy.  1.  A  deaf  mute  ;  also  an 
idiot ;  sometimes  a  duffer,  sense  2.  2. 
Generic  for  shams  :  e.g.  empty  bottles 
and  drawers  in  an  apothecary's  shop, 
wooden  half-tubs  of  butter,  bladders 
of  lard,  hams,  cheeses,  and  so  forth ; 
dummies  in  libraries  generally  take  the 
form  of  works  not  likely  to  tempt  the 
general  reader.  3.  The  open  hand  at 
an  imperfect  game  of  whist.  4.  A 
pocket  book. 

Dummy-daddle  Dodge.  Picking 
pockets  under  cover  of  a  sham  hand 
or  Daddle  (q.v.). 

Dummy  -  hunter.  A  pickpocket 
whose  speciality  is  pocket-books. 

Dump.  A  metal  counter.  As 
verb,  (1)  to  throw  down  :  e.g.  to  dump 
down  coals.  (2)  (Winchester  College). 
To  put  out.  Dump  the  tolly  !  Ex- 
tinguish the  candle. 

Dump -fencer.  A  button-merchant. 

Dumpies.  The  nineteenth  Hus- 
sars. [From  the  diminutive  size  of  the 
men  when  the  regiment  was  first 

Dumpling -depot.  The  stomach : 
see  Bread-basket. 

•    Dumpling -shop.      The  paps :   see 

Dumps.  Money :  see  Rhino.  In 
the  dumps,  cast  down,  ill  at  ease,  un- 
pleasantly situate  (1592). 

Dun.  An  importunate  creditor  ; 
as  verb,  to  persist  in  demanding  pay- 
ment. FT.,  loup.  Also  Dunner  and 
Dunning  (1663). 

Dunaker.     A  cattle-lifter  (1650). 

Dunderhead.     A  fool :  see  Buffle. 

Dundreary.  Specifically,  a  stam- 
mering, foolish,  and  long-whiskered 
fop  —  the  Lord  Dundreary  of  Our 
American  Cousin  (1858)  —  generally, 
a  foppish  fool. 

Dundrearies.  A  pair  of  whiskers 
cut  sideways  from  the  chin,  and 
grown  as  long  as  possible.  A 
fashion  (now  obsolete)  suggested  by 
Sothern's  make-up  in  Our  American 

Dung.  An  operative  working  for 
less  than  society  wages.  Formerly, 
according  to  Grose,  '  a  journey- 
man taylor  who  submits  to  the  law 
for  regulating  journey-men  taylors' 
wages,  therefore  deemed  by  the 
Flints  (q.v.)  a  coward.' 

Dung-fork  (also  Dung-cart).  A 
country  bumpkin  :  see  Joskin. 

Dunnage.  Baggage ;  clothes. 
[Properly  wood  or  loose  faggots  laid 
across  the  hold  of  a  vessel,  or  stuffed 
between  packages,  to  keep  cargo  from 
damage  by  water  or  shifting.] 

Dunnakin  (or  Dunnyken).  A 
privy  ;  in  U.S.A.,  a  chamber-pot :  see 
Mrs.  Jones  (Grose). 

Dunop  (back-slang).  A  pound. 

Dup.     To  open  (1567). 
'•    Durham -man.  A  knock-kneed  man. 

Duria.      Fire. 

Durrynacker.  A  female  lace 
hawker ;  generally  practised  as  an 
introduction  to  fortune-telling.  Also 

Dust.  Generic  for  money  :  see 
Rhino  (1655).  To  dust  one's  jacket,  to 
thrash ;  to  criticise  severely.  To  get  up 
and  dust  (or  to  dust  out  of),  to  move 
quickly,  leave  hurriedly :  see  Bunk. 
To  have  dust  in  the  eyes,  to  be  sleepy, 
draw  straws  (q.v.).  Said  mainly  of 
children  :  e.g.  The  dustman  is  coming. 
To  kick  up  (or  raise)  a  dust,  to  make  a 
disturbance,  or  much  ado  (1759).  To 
throw  dust  in  the  eyes,  to  mislead,  dupe. 
To  bite  the  dust,  to  knock  under,  be 
mortified,  or  shamed. 



Earl  of  Mar's  Grey  Breeks. 

Dust-bin.    A  grave. 

Dusted.  Drubbed,  severely  criti- 

Duster.    A  sweetheart :  see  Jomer. 

Dust-hole.  1.  The  Prince  of  Wales' 
Theatre  in  Tottenham  Court  Road. 
[From  the  fact  that,  fifty  years  ago, 
under  the  management  of  Mr.  Glossop, 
the  sweepings  of  the  house  were 
deposited  and  suffered  to  accumulate 
under  the  pit.]  2.  Sidney  Sussex 
College,  Cambridge.  Obsolete. 

Dustman.  1.  A  personification  of 
sleep :  the  dustman »  coming,  you 
are  getting  sleepy.  2.  A  head  man. 

Dusty.  Not  so  dusty,  a  mark  of 
approval,  not  so  bad,  so-so. 

Dusty-bob.    A  scavenger. 

Dusty  poll  (or  Dusty  -  nob).  A 

Dutch.  An  epithet  of  inferiority. 
An  echo,  no  doubt,  of  the  long-stand- 
ing hatred  engendered  by  the  bitter 
fight  for  the  supremacy  of  the  seas 
between  England  and  Holland  in  the 
seventeenth  century.  As  subs.,  a 
wife.  [Probably  an  abbreviation  of 
Dutch  clock.]  English  synonyms : 
mollisher,rib,  grey-mare,  warming- pan, 
splice,  lawful  blanket,  autem-mort, 
comfortable  impudence,  comfortable 
importance,  old  woman,  evil,  missus, 
lawful  jam,  yoke-fellow,  night-cap, 
legitimate,  or  legiti,  weight-carrier, 
mutton-bone,  ordinary,  pillow-mate, 
supper-table,  Dutch  clock,  chattel, 
sleeping-partner,  doxy,  cooler,  mount, 
bed-faggot.  To  do  a  dutch,  to  desert, 
run  away :  see  Bunk.  That  beats  the 
Dutch,  a  sarcastic  superlative  (1775). 
To  talk  Dutch  (Double- Dutch,  or  High- 
Dutch),  to  talk  gibberish ;  or,  by 
implication,  nonsense  (1604).  The 
Dutch  have  taken  Holland,  a  quiz  for 

stale  news  :  cf.  Queen  Bess  (or  Queen 
Anne)  is  dead  ;  The  Ark  rested  upon 
Mount  Ararat,  etc. 

Dutch-auction  (or  sale).  A  sale 
at  minimum  prices,  a  mock-auction. 

Dutch-bargain.  A  bargain  all  on 
one  side.  '  In  matters  of  commerce 
the  fault  of  the  Dutch,  Is  giving  too 
little  and  asking  too  much  ! 

Dutch-clock.  1.  A  wife:  cf.  Dutch. 
2.  A  bed-pan. 

Dutch  -  concert  (or  medley).  A 
sing-song  whereat  everybody  sings 
and  plays  at  the  same  time  ;  a  hubbub. 

Dutch-consolation.  Jobs  comfort, 
unconsoling  consolation. 

Dutch  -courage.     Pot-  valiancy. 

Dutch  -defence.    Sham  defence. 

Dutch  -  feast.  An  entertainment 
where  the  host  gets  drunk  before  his 

Dutch-gleek.     Drinks. 

Dutchman.  I'm  a  Dutchman  if 
I  do,  a  strong  refusal.  [During  the 
wars  between  England  and  Holland, 
Dutch  was  synonymous  with  all  that 
was  false  and  hateful  ;  therefore,  I 
would  rather  be  a  Dutchman,  =the 
strongest  term  of  refusal  that  words 
could  express.] 

Dutchman's  -  breeches.  Two 
streaks  of  blue  in  a  cloudy  sky. 

Dutchman's  -  drink.  A  draught 
that  empties  the  pot. 

Dutch  -  treat.  An  entertainment 
where  every  one  pays  his  shot. 

Dutch  -  uncle.  /  will  talk  to  you 
like  a  Dutch  uncle,  I  will  reprove  you 
smartly.  [The  Dutch  were  renowned 
for  the  brutality  of  their  discipline.] 

Dutch-widow.  A  prostitute 

Dutch  -wife.    A  bolster. 

Eagle-takers  (The).  The  Eighty- 
Seventh  Foot.  [The  title  was  gained 
at  Barossa  (1811),  when  it  captured 
the  eagle  of  the  8th  French  Light 
Infantry.  Its  colours  also  bear  the 
plume  of  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  tho 
harp  and  crown,  an  eagle  with  a 
wreath  of  laurel.]  It  was  also  nick- 
named The  old  Fogs;  also  The 
Faugh-a-Ballagh  Boys,  from  Fag  an 
bealac  I  Clear  the  Way,  the  regi- 

mental march,  and  the  war-cry  at 

Ear.  To  send  away  with  a  flea  in  the 
ear,  to  dismiss  peremptorily  and  with 
a  scolding :  Fr.,  mettre  la  puce  d  Voreille 
(1764).  To  bite,  the  ear  :  see  Bite.  To 
get  up  on  one's  ear,  to  bestir  oneself,  to 
rouse  oneself  for  an  effort. 

Earl  of  Cork.  The  ace  of  diamonds. 

Earl  of  Mar's  Grey  Breeks  (The). 
The  Twenty- First  Foot  [In  allusion 



to  the  colour  of  the  men's  breeches 
and  to  the  original  title  of  the  regi- 
ment, The  Earl  of  Mar's  Fuzileers.] 

Early.  To  get  up  early,  to  be 
astute,  ready,  wide  -  awake  :  cf .  It's 
the  early  bird  that  catches  the  worm 

Early  -  riser.  An  aperient :  cf. 
Custom-house  officer,  and  Two  gunners 
and  a  driver. 

Early-worm.  A  man  who  searches 
the  streets  at  daybreak  for  cigar 

Earth  -  bath.  A  grave.  To  take 
an  earth  -  bath,  to  be  buried ;  cf . 
ground  sweat. 

Earthquake.  Battled  earthquake, 
intoxicating  drinks. 

Earth-stoppers.     Horse's  feet. 

Earthy.  Gross,  common,  devoid 
of  soul. 

Ear-wig.  A  private  prompter  or 
flatterer;  also  (thieves')  a  clergyman. 
[From  the  popular  delusion  that  the 
ear- wig  lodges  itself  in  the  ear  with  a 
view  to  working  its  way  into  the  brain, 
when  it  causes  death.]  (1639).  As 
verb,  to  prompt,  influence  by  covert 
statements,  whisper  insinuations. 

Ease.  To  rob;  Fr.,  soulager:  cf. 
Annex  and  Convey.  To  ease  a 
bloke,  to  rob  a  man  (1630). 

Eason.     To  tell. 

East-and- South  (rhyming  slang). 
The  mouth  ;  also  Sunny  south :  see 
Potato  trap. 

Eastery.     Private  business. 

Easy.  To  make  easy,  to  gag  or  kill 
(Grose).  Easy  as  damn  it  (or  as  my 
eye),  excessively  easy,  Easy  as  lying 
[Shakespeare].  Easy  does  it !  An 
exclamation  of  encouragement  and 
counsel,  Take  your  time  and  keep 
your  coat  on.  Easy  over  the  pimples 
(or  over  the  stones),  an  injunction  to  go 
slow,  or,  mind  what  you're  about. 

Easy  Virtue.  See  Lady  of  Easy 

Eat.  To  provision:  e.g.  a  steamer  is 
said  to  be  able  to  eat  400  passengers 
and  sleep  about  half  that  number. 
Eat  coke :  see  Coke.  Eat  crow :  see 
Crow.  Eat  a  fig  (rhyming  slang), 
to  crack  a  crib,  to  break  a  house. 
To  eat  one's  head  off,  to  be  retained  for 
service  and  stand  idle ;  also  to  cost 
more  in  keep  than  one  is  worth.  Eat 
one's  head  (hat,  boots,  etc.),  a  locu- 
tion of  emphatic  asseveration.  [Prob- 

ably Dickensonian,  influenced  by  the 
proverbial  saying,  To  eat  one's  heart 
out  —  to  undergo  intense  struggle, 
and  also  To  eat  one's  head  off  (q.v.). 
To  eat  one's  terms,  to  go  through 
the  prescribed  course  of  study  for 
admission  to  the  bar.  [In  allusion 
to  the  dinners  a  student  has  to  attend 
in  the  public  hall  of  his  inn.]  To  eat 
one's  words,  to  retract  a  statement, 
own  a  lie.  To  eat  up,  to  vanquish, 
ruin.  [Originally  Zulu.] 

Eaves.     A  hen-roost. 

Eavesdropper.  A  chicken  thief ; 
also  generally,  any  petty  pilferer. 

Ebenezer  (Winchester  College). 
A  stroke  at  fives  :  when  the  ball  hits 
'  line  '  at  such  an  angle  as  to  rise 
perpendicularly  into  the  air. 

Ebony.  1.  A  negro ;  otherwise 
Blackbird  (q.v.)  and  Black  Ivory. 
Thomas  Fuller  (1608-1661)  spoke  of 
the  negro  race  as  God's  images  cut  in 
ebony.  2.  The  publisher  of  Maga : 
i.e.  Blackwood. 

Ebony-optics.  Black  eyes.  Ebony- 
optics  albonized,  black  eyes  painted 

Edgabac  (back  slang).     Cabbage. 

Edge.  Stitched  off  the  edge,  said  of 
a  glass  not  filled  to  the  top.  Side- 
edge,  whiskers.  Short  top  edge,  a 
turn-up  nose  or  Celestial  (q.v.).  Edge 
in,  to  slip  in,  insinuate,  e.g.  to  edge 
in  a  word  (or  a  remark).  Edge  off 
(or  out  of),  to  slink  away,  gradually 
desist.  To  take  the  edge  off  [a  thing, 
or  person,  or  idea],  to  become  ac- 
quainted with,  enjoy  to  satiety :  see 
Hamlet,  m.  ii.  '  It  would  cost  you  a 
groaning  to  take  off  my  edge.' 

Edgenaro  (back  slang).  An 

Edge-ways.  Not  able  to  get  a  word  in 
edge-ways,  having  but  the  barest 
opportunity  of  taking  part  in  a  dis- 

Eel  -  skins.  Tight  trousers  :  see 

E-fink  (back  slang).     A  knife, 

Efter.    A  theatre  thief. 

Egg.  See  Bad  egg.  Egg  on,  to 
encourage.  Sure  as  eggs  is  eggs,  of  a 
certainty,  without  doubt.  [From 
the  formula,  '  x  is  x.']  To  teach  one's 
grandmother  to  roast  (or  suck)  eggs,  to 
lecture  elders  and  superiors ;  Fr.,  lea 
oisons  veulent  mener  les  oies  pattre 
(the  goslings  want  to  drive  the  geese 
to  pasture). 




Egham,  Staincs,  and  Windsor 
A  three-cornered  coachman's  hat.  |>, 

Egyptian-hall  (rhyming  slang).     A 
,     Eighter.     An  eight-ounce  loaf. 

E  k  a  m  e  (back  slang).  A  Make 
(q.v.),  swindle. 

Ekom  (back  slang).  A  Moke  (q.v.) 
or  donkey. 

Elbow.  To  turn  a  corner,  get  out 
of  sight.  To  shake  the  elbow,  to  play 
dice.  [From  the  motion  of  the  arm 
in  casting.]  (1680).  To  crook  the 
elbow,  to  drink  :  see  Lush. 

Elbow-crooker.  A  hard  drinker. 
English  synonyms :  borachio,  boozing- 
ton,  brewer's  horse,  bubber,  budger, 
mop,  lushington,  worker  of  the  cannon, 
wet  -  quaker,  soaker,  lapper,  pegger, 
angel  altogether,  bloat,  ensign-Dearer, 
fiddle  -  cup,  sponge,  tun,  toss  -  pot, 
swill-pot,  wet  subject,  shifter,  pot- 
ster,  swallower,  pot-walloper,  wetster, 
dramster,  drinkster,  beer-barrel,  gin- 
nums,  lowerer,  moist  'un,  drainist, 
boozer,  mopper-up,  piss-maker,  thirst- 

Elbower.     A  runaway. 

Elbow-grease.  Energetic  and  con- 
tinuous manual  labour :  e.g.  Elbow- 
grease  is  the  best  furniture  oil :  Fr., 
huile  de  bras  or  de  poignet ;  du  foulage 

Elbow  -  scraper  (or  Jigger).  A 

Elbow-shaker.    A  gambler  (1748). 

Elbow-shaking.    Gambling. 

Electrified.  1.  Moderately  drunk : 
see  Screwed.  2.  Violently  startled. 

Elegant.     Excellent. 

Elegant  Extracts.  1.  The  Eighty- 
Fifth  Foot.  [This  regiment  was  re- 
modelled in  1812,  after  a  long 
sequence  of  court  -  martials  :  when 
the  officers  were  removed,  and  others 
set  in  their  room.]  2.  (Cambridge 
University).  Students  who,  though 
'  plucked,'  were  still  given  their 
degrees.  A  line  was  drawn  below  the 
poll-list,  and  those  allowed  to  pass 
were  nicknamed  the  elegant  extracts. 
There  was  a  similar  limbo  in  the 
honour  -  list,  called  the  Gulf :  for 
'  Between  them  (t'n  the  poll)  and  us 
(in  the  honour  lists)  there  is  a  great 
gulf  fixed.'] 

Elephant.  A  wealthy  victim. 
To  see  the  elephant,  1.  To  see  the  world, 
go  out  for  wool  and  come  home 
shorn;  by  implication,  to  go  on  the 

loose :  sometimes,  To  see  the  King. 
2.  To  be  seduced  ;  Fr.,  avoir  vu  le  loup. 

Elephant-dance.      See  Cellar-flap 
and  Double-shuffle. 
•-  Elephant's-trunk  (rhyming  slang). 
Drunk :  see  Screwed, 
r  Elevated.      Drunk :   see  Screwed. 

Elf  en.  To  walk  lightly,  go  on  tiptoe. 

Ellenborough  -  Lodge  (Spike,  or 
Park).  The  King's  Bench  Prison. 
[From  Ld.  Chief  -  Justice  Ellen- 
borough.  Ellenborough' s  teeth,  the 
chevaux  de  frize  round  the  prison 

.    Elrig  (back  slang).     A  girl. 
.    Elycampane     (or     Elecampane). 
See  Allacompain. 

Emag  (back  slang).  Game :  e.g. 
I  know  your  little  emag. 

Embroider.  To  exaggerate,  add  to 
the  truth. 

Embroidery.  Exaggeration :  the 
American  sass  and  trimmins  (q.v.). 

Emma.     See  Whoa  Emma. 

Emperor.  A  drunken  man. 
[An  intensification  of,  Drunk  as  a 
lord  ;  whence,  Drunk  as  an  em- 
peror.] Fr.,  saoul  comme  trente  mille 
homines,  or  un  fine.. 

Empty  the  Bag.    See  Bag. 

Encumbrances.  Children :  see 
Certainties  and  Uncertainties. 

End.  To  be  all  on  end,  to  be  very 
angry,  irritated.  Also  expectant.  At 
loose  ends,  neglected,  precarious. 
End  on,  straight,  full-tilt.  To  keep 
one's  end  up,  to  rub  along. 

Enemy.  Time  :  e.g.  How  goes  the 
enemy,  what's  o'clock  ?  To  kill  the 
enemy,  to  kill  time. 

English  Burgundy.  Porter :  see 

Enif.     Fine. 

Enin  -  gen.  Nine  shillings.  Enin 
yanneps,  ninepence. 

Eno  (back  slang).     One. 

Ensign  -  bearer.  A  drunkard  ; 
especially  with  red  nose  and  blotchy 
face:  see  Lushington. 

Ephesian.  A  boon  companion, 
spreester :  cf.  Corinthian. 

Epip  (back  slang).     A  pipe. 

Epsom-races  (rhyming  slang).  A 
pair  of  braces. 

Equipped.  Rich,  well-dressed,  in 
good  circumstances. 

Erif  (back  slang).     Fire. 

Eriff .     A  young  thief. 

Errand.      To  send  a  baby  on  an 




errand,  to  undertake  what  is  pretty 
sure  to  turn  out  badly. 

Error.     See  No  error. 

Erth  (back  slang).  Three.  Ertli 
gen,  three  shillings.  Erth-pu,  Three- 
up,  a  street  game,  played  with  three 
halfpence.  Erih  sith-noms,  Three 
months'  imprisonment ;  a  drag.  Erth 
yanneps,  Threepence. 

E  s  c  1  o  p  (back  slang).  A  police- 
constable  ;  esclop  is  pronounced  '  slop ' 
the  c  is  never  sounded  :  see  Beak. 

Es-roch  (back  slang).  A  horse : 
see  Prad. 

Essex-lion.  A  calf :  e.g.  as  valiant 
as  an  Essex-lion  :  cf.  Cotswold  Lion, 
Cambridgeshire  Nightingale,  etc. 

Essex-stile.    A  ditch. 

Esuch(  back  slang).  Ahorse:  seeKen. 

Eternity-box.  A  coffin.  English 
synonyms:  cold  meat  box,  wooden 
surtout,  coffee-shop,  deal  suit. 

Evaporate.  To  run  away,  to  dis- 
appear :  see  Bunk. 

Evatch  (back  slang).  To  have : 
e.g.  Evatch  a  kool  at  the  elrig,  Have 
a  look  at  the  girl. 

Everlasting-shoes  (also  Everlast- 
ings). The  naked  feet :  see  Creepers. 

Everlasting-staircase.  The  tread- 

Everton  -  toffee  (rhyming  slang). 

Everything  is  lovely  and  the 
goose  hangs  high.  Everything  is 
going  swimmingly.  [An  allusion  to 
the  sport  of  gander  pulling.  A  gan- 
der was  plucked,  thoroughly  greased, 
especially  about  the  head  and  neck, 
and  tied  tight  by  the  feet  to  the 
branch  of  a  tree.  The  game  was 
then  to  ride  furiously  at  the  mark, 
catch  it  by  the  head  or  neck,  and 
attempt  to  bear  it  away.  With  every 
failure  the  fun  would  get  more  up- 

Evif  (back  slang).  Five.  Evif- 
gen,  a  crown,  or  five  shillings.  Evif- 
yanneps,  fivepence. 

Evil.     A  wife  :  see  Dutch. 

Evlenet-gen  (back  slang). 
Twelve  shillings.  Evlenet  sithnoms, 
twelve  months  :  generally  known  as 
a  stretch. 

Ewe.     See  White-ewe  and-Old  ewe. 

Ewe-mutton.  An  elderly  strumpet, 
or  piece. 

Exalted.     Hanged  :  see  Ladder. 

Exam.  An  abbreviation  of  Ex- 

Exasperate.  To  over-aspirate  the 
letter  H. 

E  x  c  e  1 1  e  r  s.  The  Fortieth  Foot. 
[A  pun  upon  its  number,  xl  +  ers.] 

Excruciators.  Tight  boots ;  especi- 
ally with  pointed  toes. 

Execution-day.     Washing  day. 

Exes.  1.  An  abbreviation  of  ex- 
penses. 2.  An  abbreviation  of  ex- 
officials,  ex-ministers,  and  so  forth. 
As  in  Tom  Moore's  '  We  x's  have 
proved  ourselves  not  to  be  wise.' 

Exis-evif-gen  (back  slang).  Six 
times  five  shillings,  i.e.  30s.  All 
monies  may  be  reckoned  in  this 
manner,  either  with  yanneps  or  gens. 
Exis-evif-yanneps,  literally,  sixpence 
and  fivepence,  elevenpence.  Exis  gen, 
six  shillings.  Exis  sith-noms,  six- 
months.  Exis  yanneps,  sixpence. 

Expecting.     With  child. 

Experience  Does  it.  A  dog- 
English  rendering  of  Experienta  docet. 

Explaterate.  To  hold  forth,  ex- 
plain in  detail.  [From  O.E.  Expiate 
==to  unfold.] 

Explosion.    A  delivery  in  childbed. 

Exquisite.     A  fop  :  see  Dandy. 

Extensive.  Formerly  applied  to  a 
person's  appearance  or  talk  ;  rather 
extensive  that !  intimating  that  the 
person  alluded  to  is  showing  off,  or 
cutting  it  fat. 

Extinguisher.     A  dog's  muzzle. 

Ex  Trumps  (Winchester  College). 
Extempore.  To  go  up  to  books  ex 
trumps,  to  go  to  class  without  pre- 
paring one's  lessons. 

Eye.  See  All  my  eye.  To  putt  wool 
over  tlie  eyes  :  see  Wool.  To  keep  the 
eyes  dean  (skinned,  or  peeled),  to  be 
watchful,  alert,  with  all  one's  wits 
about  one.  To  have  a  drop  in  the 
eye,  to  be  drunk :  see  Screwed.  In 
the  twinkling  of  an  eye :  see  Bedpost. 
To  bet  one's  eyes :  see  Bet.  My 
eyes  I  An  expression  of  surprise. 

Eyelashes.  To  hang  on  by  the  eye- 
lashes (or  eyebrows),  to  be  very  tena- 
cious ;  also  by  implication,  to  be  in  a 
difficulty  :  cf.  Hang  on  by  the  splash 

Eye-limpet.     An  artificial  eye. 

Eye-opener.  1.  Drink  generally  ; 
specifically,  a  mixed  drink.  2.  Any- 
thing surprising  or  out  of  the 

Eyeteeth.  To  have  cut  one's  eye- 
teeth,  to  have  learned  wisdom. 

Eye-water.    Gin  :  see  Drinks. 




Face.  1.  Confidence,  boldness, 
also  (more  frequently)  impudence : 
e.g.  I  like  your  face,  I  like  your 
cheek.  Once  literary ;  cf.  Cheek, 
Jaw,  Gab,  Brow,  Mouth,  Lip,  etc. 
(1610).  2.  Credit  To  push  one's 
face,  to  get  credit  by  bluster  (1765). 
3.  A  qualification  of  contempt :  e.g. 
Now  face  !  where  are  you  a-shoving 
of  T  '  As  verb,  to  bully  (1593) :  also 
to  face  (or  outface)  with  a  card  of  ten, 
to  browbeat,  bluff.  [Nares :  derived 
from  some  game  (possibly  primero) 
wherein  the  standing  boldly  upon  a 
ten  was  often  successful.]  (1460).  To 
face  the  knocker,  to  go  begging :  see 
Cadge.  To  have  no  face  but  one's  own, 
to  be  penniless,  or  (gamesters')  to 
hold  no  court  cards  :  Fr.,  n' 'avoir  pas 
une  face,  to  have  not  a  sou.  To 
make  faces,  to  go  back,  or  '  round ' 
upon  a  friend.  To  face  the  music,  to 
meet  an  emergency,  show  one's  hand. 
Face  -  entry.  Freedom  of  access, 
the  personal  appearance  being  familiar 
to  attendants. 

Facer.  1.  A  blow  in  the  face 
(Grose).  2.  A  sudden  check,  spoke 
in  one's  wheel.  3.  A  dram.  4.  A 
bumper  (Orose).  5.  A  tumbler  of 
whisky  punch.  6.  An  accomplice, 
stall  (q.v.),  fence  (q.v.). 

F  a  c  e  y.  A  fellow  vis-d-vis,  work- 
man. Facey  on  the  bias,  one  in  front 
either  to  right  or  left ;  Facey  on  the 
two  thick,  one  working  immediately 
behind  one's  opposite. 

Facings.  To  be  put  (or  go), 
through  one's  facings,  to  be  called 
to  account  or  scolded,  to  exemplify 
capacity  ;  to  show  off.  Silk-facings, 
stains  upon  work  caused  by  beer 

Fad-cattle.  Easy  women. 
Faddist  (or  Fadmonger).  A 
person  (male  or  female)  devoted  to  the 
pursuit  of  public  fads :  as  social 
purity,  moral  art,  free  -  trade  in 
syphilis,  and  so-forth. 

F  addle.  To  toy,  trifle  :  as  a  subs., 
a  busybody,  a  '  nancified,'  affected, 
male.  Also  Faddy,  full  of  fads. 

Fadge.  A  farthing.  English  syno- 
nyms :  fiddler,  farden,  gig,  (or  grig), 
quartereen.  As  verb,  to  suit,  fit, 
agree  with,  come  off.  [Nares  :  prob- 
ably never  better  than  a  low  word : 

it    is  now  confined   to   the   streets] 

F  a  d  g  e  r.  A  glazier's  frame,  a 
'  frail.' 

Fadmonger.  A  Faddist  (q.v.). 
Fadmongering,  dealing  as  a  Faddist 
with  fads. 

Fag.  1.  A  boy  doing  menial  work 
for  a  schoolfellow  in  a  higher  form. 
As  verb,  to  act  as  a  fag.  2.  Christ's 
Hospital).  Eatables.  3.  A  lawyer's 
clerk.  4.  A  cigarette. 

Fag.     See  subs.     To  beat 

F agger  (Figger,  or  Figure).  A 
boy  thief  employed  to  enter  houses  by 
windows  and  either  open  the  doors  to 
his  confederates  as  Oliver  Twist  with 
Bill  Sykes),  or  hand  out  the  swag  to 
them  ;  also  Little  snakesman  (q.v.) : 
cf.  Diver. 

Fagging  (or  F  a  g  g  e  r  y). 
Waiting  upon  and  doing  menial  work 
for  a  schoolfellow  in  a  higher  form. 
Also  used  adjectively. 

Faggot.  1.  A  woman,  baggage:  in 
contempt.  [Once  a  popular  symbol 
of  recantation  :  heretics  who  had  thus 
escaped  the  stake  were  required  either 
to  bear  a  faggot  and  burn  it  in  public, 
or  to  wear  an  imitation  on  the  sleeve 
as  a  badge.]  Also  Bed-  (or  Straw-) 
faggot,  a  wife,  or  mistress  ;  Tumble- 
faggot,  a  whore-master ;  Carry  -  faggot, 
a  mattress.  2.  A  sort  of  cake,  roll, 
or  ball,  a  number  being  baked  at  a 
time,  made  of  chopped  liver  and  lights, 
mixed  with  gravy,  and  wrapped  in 
pieces  of  pig  s  caul  It  weighs  six 
ounces,  so  that  it  is  unquestion- 
ably a  cheap  [it  costs  Id.  hot]  and,  to 
the  scavenger,  a  savoury  meal,  but 
to  other  nostrils  its  odour  is  not 
seductive  (Mayhew).  3.  A  dummy 
soldier ;  one  hired  to  appear  at  a 
muster  to  hide  deficiencies.  Many 
names  of  dummies  would  appear  on 
the  muster-roll :  for  these  the  colonel 
drew  pay,  but  they  were  never  in  the 
ranks  :  obsolete,  see  Widow's  -  man 
(1672).  As  verb,  to  bind  hand 
and  foot,  to  tie  [as  sticks  into  a 
faggot] :  Fr.,  tm  fagot,  a  convict,  be- 
cause bound  to  a  common  chain  on 
their  way  to  the  hulks. 

Faggot-briefs.  Bundles  of 
dummy  papers  sometimes  carried  by 
briefless  barristers. 




Faggot  -  vote.  A  vote  secured  by 
the  purchase  of  property  under  mort- 
gage, or  otherwise,  so  as  to  constitute 
a  nominal  qualification  without  a  sub- 
stantial basis. 

Fains!  (Fainits!  Fain  itl)  A 
call  for  truce  during  the  progress  of 
a  game  without  which  priority  or  place 
would  be  lost ;  generally  understood  to 
be  preferred  in  bounds,  or  when  out 
of  danger  :  see  Bags  ! 

Fair-gang.    Gypsies. 

Fair-rations.    Fair  dealings. 

Fair-shake.  A  good  bargain :  see 

Fair-trade.     Smuggling. 

Faithful.  One  of  the  faithful  (1)  A 
drunkard:  see  Lushington  (1609). 
(2)  A  tailor  giving  long  credit  (Grose). 

Faithful  Durhams.  The  Sixty- 
Eighth  Footh. 

Fake.  An  action,  proceeding, 
manoeuvre,  mechanical  contrivance — 
an  affair  of  any  kind  irrespective  of 
morals  or  legality :  generally  used  in 
a  sense  specifically  detrimental.  In 
America,  a  swindler.  As  verb,  (1) 
to  do  anything  ;  to  fabricate,  cheat, 
deceive,  devise  falsely,  steal,  forge :  a 
general  verb-of -all-work.  In  America, 
fix  (q.v.)  is  employed  much  in  the 
same  way  :  Fr.,  faire.  Also,  To  fake 
a  screeve,  to  write  a  begging  letter  ;  to 
fake  one's  slangs,  to  file  through  one's 
fetters  ;  to  fake  a  dy  (q.v.),  to  pick  a 
pocket ;  to  fake  the  sweetener,  to  kiss  ; 
to  jake  the  duck,  to  adulterate,  dodge  ; 
to  fake  the  rubber,  to  stand  treat ;  to 
fake  the  broads,  to  pack  the  cards,  or  to 
work  the  three-cark  trick ;  to  fake  a 
line  (theatrical),  to  improvise  a  speech ; 
to  fake  a  dance  (a  step,  or  a  trip)  thea- 
trical), to  perform  what  looks  like,  but 
is  not,  dancing.  (2)  To  hocus,  nobble, 
tamper.  (3)  To  paint  one's  face,  make 
up  a  character.  Also  to  fake  up.  (4) 
To  cut  out  the  wards  of  a  key.  Fake 
away!  an  ej  aculation  of  encouragement. 

Fake-boodle.    See  Boodle. 

Faked.  Counterfeit :  sometimes 
Faked-up :  Fr.,  lophe. 

Fakement.  1.  A  counterfeit  signa- 
ture, forgery :  specifically  a  begging 
letter  or  petition :  Fr.,  brasser  des 
faffes,  to  forge  documents,  i.e.  To 
screeve  fakements.  2.  Generic  for 
dishonest  practices ;  but  applied  to 
any  kind  of  action,  contrivance,  or 
trade  :  see  Fake.  3.  Small  properties, 

Fakement  -  Charley.  An  owner's 
private  mark. 

.-  Faker.  1.  One  who  makes,  does, 
or  fakes  anything ;  specifically  a 
thief.  Found  in  many  combinations  : 
e.g.  Bit  -  faker,  Flue  -  faker,  Grub- 
faker,  Sham-faker,  Twat-faker,  etc. 
2.  A  circus  rider  or  performer. 

Fakes  and  Slumboes.  Properties, 
accessories  of  any  kind. 

Faking.  The  act  of  doing  any- 
thing :  Fr.,  maquillage  (or  goupinage), 

Fall.  1.  To  be  arrested.  2.  To 
conceive  :  see  Lumpy. 

Fall  of  the  Leaf  (The).  Hanging  : 
see  Ladder. 

False  -  hereafter.  A  bustle  :  see 

F  a  m.  See  Fambling-cheat  and 

F  a  m  b  1  e  (Fam,  or  Fem).  The 
hand  :  see  Fambling-cheat :  see  Bunch 
of  fives  and  Daddle.  As  verb,  to 
touch,  to  handle,  especially  with  a 
view  to  ascertaining  the  whereabouts 
of  valuables.  Also  To  fam  for  the 
plant :  see  To  run  a  rule  over. 

Famblers  (Fambling  -  cheats,  or 
Fam-snatchers).  Gloves. 

Fambling- cheat  (Famble,  or 
Fam).  A  ring ;  also  (about  1694) 
gloves,  which  later  still  were  also 
called  Fam-snatchers  (q.v.)  (1560). 

Fam-grasp.  To  shake  hands :  also 
subs.,  hand-shaking. 

Familiars.     Lice  :  see  Chates. 

Familiar -way.     With  child. 

Family-disturbance.  Whisky :  see 

Family  -  hotel.  A  prison  :  see 

Family-man.  A  thief ;  specifically, 
a  fence  (q.v.).  [In  allusion  to  the 
fraternities  into  which  thieves  were  at 
one  time  invariably  banded.]  (1749). 

Family-plate.  Silver  money  :  see 

Family-pound.    A  family  grave. 

Fam -lay.     Shoplifting. 

Fam-snatchers.  Gloves :  cf. 

Fam-squeeze.     Strangulation. 

Fam-struck.  Baffled  in  ascertain, 
ing  the  whereabouts  of  valuables  on 
the  person  of  an  intended  victim  ;  also 

Fan.  A  waistcoat ;  said  by  Hotten 
(1864)  to  be  a  Houndsditch  term,  but 
quoted  in  Matsell  (1859)  as  American. 
English  synonyms :  ben,  benjie,  M.B. 




waistcoat,  Charley  Prescot.  As  verb, 
(1)  to  beat,  to  be-ratc.  (2)  To  feel, 
handle  (with  a  view  to  ascertain  if  a 
victim  has  anything  valuable  about 
his  person).  Also  to  steal  from  the 
person.  Queen  Anne's  fan :  see  post. 

Fancy.  The  fraternity  of  pugilists : 
prize-fighting  being  once  regarded  aa 
The  fancy,  par  excellence.  Hence,  by 
implication,  people  who  cultivate  a 
special  hobby  or  taste. 

Fancy-bloke.  1.  A  sporting  man. 
2.  See  Fancy-man. 

Fancy-house.    A  brotheL 

Fancy-Joseph.  An  Apple-squire 
(q.v.),  Cupid. 

Fancy-lay.     Pugilism. 

Fancy-man  (or  bloke).  A 
prostitute's  lover,  husband,  or  pen- 
sioner. English  synonyms!  apple- 
squire,  faker,  bully,  ponce,  pensioner, 
Sunday-man,  fancy-Joseph,  squire  of 
the  body,  apron  -  squire,  petticoat 
pensioner,  prosser,  twat-faker,  twat- 
master,  stallion,  mack,  bouncer, 
bruiser,  buck. 

Fancy-piece.     A  prostitute. 

Fancy-work.  To  take  in  fancy 
work,  to  play  the  harlot. 

Fang-faker.    A  dentist. 

Fanning.  1.  Stealing ;  Cross- 
fanning,  robbery  from  the  person,  the 
arms  of  the  manipulator  being  folded. 
2.  A  beating. 

Fanny  Adams.     Tinned  mutton. 

Fanny  Blair.     The  hair. 

Fantail.  A  sort  of  round  hat 
with  a  long  leathern  fan-shaped  flap 
at  the  back  ;  worn  by  coal-heavers 
and  dustmen;  a  Sou'-wester  (q.v.). 

Fanteague.  On  the  Fanteague,  on 
the  burst,  or  loose. 

Far  -  back.  An  indifferent  work- 
man, ignoramus. 

Farden.  A  farthing  :  see  Rhino. 

Farm.  1.  An  establishment  where 
pauper  or  illegitimate  children  were 
lodged  and  fed  at  so  much  a  head. 
Also  verbally,  to  contract  to  feed  and 
lodge  pauper  or  illegitimate  children. 
2.  The  prison  infirmary.  To  fetch  the 
farm,  to  be  ordered  infirmary  diet 
and  treatment :  see  Fetch. 

Farmer.  1.  An  alderman.  2. 
One  who  contracts  to  lodge  and  feed 
pauper  or  illegitimate  children. 

Farthing.  To  care  not  a  brass 
farthing,  to  care  nothing.  Chaucer 
uses  the  expression  '  no  farthing  of 

grease  *  as  equivalent  to  a  small 

Fast.  1.  Embarrassed,  hard-up, 
in  a  tight  place.  2.  Dissipated,  ad- 
dicted to  going  the  pace  :  e.g.  a  fast 
man,  a  rake-hell,  or  spendthrift ;  a 
fast  woman,  a  strumpet ;  a  fast  life,  a 
life  of  debauchery ;  a  fast  house,  a 
brothel,  or  a  sporting  tavern  ;  to  dress 
fast,  to  dress  for  the  town  ;  to  live 
fast,  to  go  the  pace,  and  so  forth 
(1751).  3.  Impudent,  cheeky:  e.g. 
Don't  you  be  so  fast,  Mind  your  own 
business.  To  play  fast  and  loose,  to  be 
variable,  inconstant,  say  one  thing 
and  do  another. 

Fastener  (or  Fastner).    A  warrant. 

Fat.  1.  Money:  Fr.,  graisse:  see 
Rhino.  2.  Composition  full  of  blank 
spaces  or  in  short  lines.  Verse  is 
frequently  fat,  while  this  dictionary, 
with  its  constant  change  of  type,  is 
lean  (q.v.).  Hence,  work  that  pays 
well :  Fr.,  affaire  juteuse.  3.  A  good 
part ;  telling  lines  and  conspicuous  or 
commanding  situations :  Fr.,  des 
cotelettes.  As  adj.,  (1)  rich,  abundant, 
profitable.  (2)  Good.  Cut  it  fat:  see 
Cut.  Cut  up  fat:  see  Cut  up.  All 
the  fat's  in  the  fire,  said  of  failures  and 
of  the  results  of  sudden  and  un- 
expected revelation,  disappointments  : 
i.e.  it  is  all  over  or  up  with  a 
person  or  thing.  A  late  equivalent  is, 
And  then  the  band  played.  Fat  as 
a  hen's  forehead,  meagre,  skinny  (q.v.). 

Fat-  (Barge-,  Broad-  or  Heavy-) 
arsed.  Broad  in  the  breech ;  and, 
by  implication  (in  Richard  Baxter's 
Shove  to  Heavy  Arsed  Christians), 
thick-witted  and  slow  to  move. 

Fat-  (or  Thick-)  chops.  A  con- 
tumelious epithet. 

Fater  (Faytor,  or  Fator).  A 
fortune-teller.  In  Spencer,  a  doer  ;  in 
Bailey,  an  idle  fellow,  vagabond  :  Fr., 

Fat-flab  (Winchester  School). 
A  cut  off  the  fat  part  of  a  breast  of 
mutton :  see  Cat's-head. 

Fat-  (or  Full-)  guts.  An  oppro- 
brious epithet  for  a  fat  man  or 

Fat-head.  A  dolt  Fat -headed 
(-skulled,  -thoughted,  -paled,  -grained, 
or  -witted),  dull,  stupid,  slow. 

Father.  1.  A  receiver  of  stolen 
property,  fence  (q.v.).  2.  A  chief  in 
authority,  elder :  e.g.  The  father  of 
the  house,  the  oldest  member  of  the 


Father  Derbies  Bands. 


House  of  Commons  (cf.  Babe) ; 
among  printers,  the  chairman  of  the 
Chapel  (q.v.),  tne  intermediary  be- 
tween master  and  men ;  in  naval 
circles,  the  builder  of  a  man-of-war 
or  Government '  bottom.' 

Father  Derbie's  Bands.  See 

Father's  Brother.  A  pawnbroker, 
My  uncle  (q.v.). 

Fat  Jack  of  the  Bone-house.  A  con- 
tumelious epithet  for  a  very  stout  man. 

Fatness.     Wealth  :  Fat,  rich. 

Fatten  -  up.  To  write  Fat  (subs., 
sense  3)  into  a  part. 

Fat  -  *un.  An  emission  of  peculiar 
rankness,  '  roarer  '  (Swift). 

Fatty  (Fatymus,  or  Fattyma). 
A  jocular  epithet  for  a  fat  man  ;  a 
comic  endearment  for  a  fat  woman. 

Faugh  -  a  -  Ballagh  Boys.  The 
Eighty-Seventh  Foot ;  also  known 
as  the  Eagle-takers  (q.v.),  and  the 
Old  Fogs  (q.v.).  [From  Fag  an  bealac, 
Clear  the  Way,  the  .  regimental 
march.]  >'*•  l^t.TC^W^ 

Faulkner.    A  tumbler,  juggler.!?! 

Fawney  (or  Fauney).  1.  A  ring  : 
Fr.,  brobuante,  broquille,  chason.  2. 
A  swindle  (also  Fawney '-dropping,  or 
rig),  worked  as  follows : — A  ring 
(snide)  is  let  drop  in  front  of  a  passer- 
by, who  picks  it  up,  and  is  confronted 
by  the  dropper,  who  claims  to  share. 
In  consideration  of  immediate  settle- 
ment he  offers  to  accept  something  less 
than  the  apparent  value  in  cash. 
Also  done  with  pocket-books,  meer- 
schaum pipes,  etc.  Fawney -dropper, 
one  that  practices  the  ring-dropping 
trick;  Fawney -bouncing,  selling  rings 
for  a  pretended  wager ;  Fawnied, 
ringed  (1789). 

Feager.  '  One  that  beggeth  with 
counterfeit  writings '  (Rowlands, 

Feague.  To  send  packing,  whiff 
away.  •  ^f-  j$ 

Peak.     The  fundament. 

Feather.  1.  Kind,  species,  com- 
pany :  cf.  Birds  of  a  feather :  see 
Kidney  (1608).  2.  In  pi.,  money, 
wealth  :  see  Rhino.  In  full  feather  ( 1 ), 
rich.  (2)  In  full  costume  ;  with  all 
one's  war  paint  on.  In  high  (or  full) 
feather,  elated,  brilliant,  conspicuous. 
To  feather  one's  nest,  to  amass  money ; 
specifically  to  enrich  oneself  by  in- 
direct pickings  and  emoluments  (1590). 
To  feather  an  oar,  in  rowing,  to  turn 

the  blade  horizontally,  with  the  upper 
edge  pointing  aft,  as  it  leaves  the 
water,  for  the  purpose  of  lessening  the 
resistance  of  the  air  upon  it.  To 
show  the  white  feather,  to  turn  cur, 
prove  oneself  a  coward.  [Among 
game  cocks  a  cross-bred  bird  is  known 
by  a  white  feather  in  the  tail.  Of  old 
the  breed  was  strictly  preserved  in 
England,  for  though  birds  of  all 
descriptions  were  reared  in  the  farm- 
yard, special  care  was  taken  that  game 
fowls  did  not  mix  with  them ;  but  this 
would  occasionally  happen,  and  while 
the  game  birds  were  only  red  and 
black,  white  feathers  would  naturally 
appear  when  there  was  any  cross. 
The  slightest  impurity  of  strain  was 
said  to  destroy  the  bird's  courage,  and 
the  half-breeds  were  never  trained  for 
the  pit.  It  became  an  adage  that  any 
cock  would  fight  on  his  own  dunghill, 
but  it  must  be  one  without  a  white 
feather  to  fight  in  the  pit.] 

Feather-bed  and  pillows.  A  fat 

Feather-bed  Lane.  A  rough  or 
stony  lane. 

Feather-bed  Soldier  (old  col- 
loquial). A  practised  and  determined 
loose  liver. 

Feck.  To  discover  a  safe  way  of 
stealing  or  swindling. 

Feed.  A  meal,  Spread  (q.v.), 
Blow-out  (q.v.):  Fr.,  lampie.  As 
verb  (1),  to  support,  backup.  (2)  To 
prompt.  (3)  To  teach  or  cram  (q.v.)  for 
an  examination.  At  feed,  at  meat. 
To  be  off  one's  feed,  to  have  a  distaste 
for  food.  To  feed  the  fishes,  to  be  sea- 
sick ;  also  to  be  drowned.  To  feed 
the  press,  to  send  up  copy  slip  by  slip. 

Feeder.  1.  A  spoon ;  among  thieves 
a  silver  spoon.  To  nab  a  feeder,  to 
steal  a  spoon  (Grose).  2.  A  tutor, 
crammer  (q.v.).  coach  (q.v.)  (1766). 

Feeding  -  bottle.  The  paps  :  see 

Feel.     See  Bones. 

Feele.  A  girl  or  daughter :  see 
Titter:  Fr.,  fille ;  It.,  figlia.  Feeles, 
mother  and  daughter. 

Feeler.  1.  A  device  or  remark 
designed  to  bring  out  the  opinions 
of  others.  2.  The  hand  :  see  Bunch 
of  Fives. 

Feet.  Making  feet  for  children's 
stockings,  begetting  or  breeding  chil- 
dren. Officer  of  feet,  an  officer  of 
infantry  (Grose).  How's  your  poor 



feet  ?  a  street  catch  phrase  in  the 
early  part  of  the  sixties.  [Henry 
Irving's  revival  of  '  The  Dead  Heart  ' 
revived  this  bit  of  slang.  .  . .  When  the 
play  was  brought  out  originally, 
where  one  of  the  characters  says,  '  My 
heart  is  dead,  dead,  dead  ! '  a  voice 
from  the  gallery  nearly  broke  up  the 
drama  with  '  How  are  your  poor  feet  ? 
The  phrase  lived.] 

Feet-casements.  Boots  or  shoes  : 
see  Trotter-cases. 

Feeze  (Feaze,  Feize,  or  Pheeze). 
To  beat. 

Feint.  A  pawnbroker:  see  My  uncle. 

Feker.    Trade,  profession. 

Fell.  Fell  a  bit  on,  to  act  craftily, 
in  an  underhand  manner. 

Fell -and -didn't.  Said  of  a  man 
walking  lame. 

Fellow.    See  Old  fellow. 

Fellow  -  commoner.  An  empty 
bottle:  see  Dead  man  (1794). 

Felt.  A  hat  of  felted  wool :  see 
Golgotha  (1609). 

Fern.     See  Famble. 

Fen.  A  prostitute  (Grose).  As  verb 
(also  Fend,  Fain,  Fainits,  etc.),  a  term 
of  warning,  or  of  prohibition :  as  to 
prevent  any  change  in  the  existing 
conditions  of  a  game  ;  e.g.  at  marbles, 
Fen-placings,  no  alteration  in  position 
of  marbles  is  permissible ;  Fen-clear- 
ances, removal  of  obstacles  is  for- 

.Fence.  1.  A  purchaser  or  receiver 
of  stolen  goods.  English  synonyms  : 
fencing  master  (or  cully),  billy-fencer, 
angling  cove,  stallsman,  Ikey,  family- 
man,  father  (1714).  2.  A  place 
where  stolen  goods  are  purchased  or 
received  :  FT.,  moulin.  As  verb,  ( 1 )  to 
purchase  or  receive  stolen  goods  (1610). 
(2)  To  spend  money  (1728).  To  be 
(ait,  or  ride)  on  the  fence,  to  be  neutral, 
ready  to  join  the  winning  side,  to 
wait  to  see  how  the  cat  will  jump : 
also,  to  sit  on  both  sides  of  the  hedge. 
Those  who  thus  seek  to  run  with  the 
hare  and  hunt  with  the  hounds  are 
called  Fence-men.  The  operation  is 
Fence-riding,  which  sometimes  quali- 
fies for  rail-riding  (q.v.). 

Fencer.  A  hawker  of  small  wares, 
tramp  :  generally  used  in  connection 
with  another  word  ;  thus,  Driz-fencer 
(q.v.),  a  pedlar  of  lace. 

Fencing-crib  (or  ken).  A  place 
where  stolen  goods  are  purchased  or 

Fencing-cully.  A  receiver  of  stolen 

Fen  -  nightingale.  A  frog  :  also 
Cambridgeshire,  and  Cape  Night- 

Ferguson.  You  can't  lodge  here, 
Mr.  Ferguson,  a  street  cry,  popular 
about  1846-50 ;  used  in  derision  or 
denial.  [Mr.  J.  H.  Dixon,  writing  to 
Mr.  John  Camden  Hotten,  under  date 
Nov.  6, 1864,  says  the  phrase  originated 
thus  : — A  young  Scotsman,  named 
Ferguson,  visited  Epsom  races,  where 
he  got  very  drunk.  His  friends 
applied  to  several  hotel  keepers  to  give 
him  a  bed,  but  in  vain.  There  was 
no  place  for  Mr.  Ferguson.  He  was 
accordingly  driven  to  London  by  his 
companions,  who  kept  calling  out, 
Ferguson,  you  can't  lodge  here.  This 
was  caught  up  by  the  crowd,  repeated, 
and  in  a  week  was  all  over  London,  and 
in  a  month  all  over  the  kingdom.  Mr 
Dixon  states  he  was  introduced  to 
Mr.  Ferguson,  and  that  two  of  his 
companions  were  intimate  friends.] 

Perm.  A  hole :  with  Spencer,  a 
prison  (1632). 

Ferret.  1.  A  barge-thief.  2.  A 
dunning  tradesman.  3.  A  pawn- 
broker :  see  My  uncle.  To  ferret  ovt, 
to  be  at  pains  to  penetrate  a  mystery 
of  any  kind  by  working  under- 

Ferricadouzer.  A  knock  -  down 
blow,  a  thrashing. 

F  e  s  s.  To  confess,  own  up :  FT., 
norguer.  As  adj.,  proud. 

Festive.  Loud,  fast ;  a  kind  of 
general  utility  word.  Gay  and  festive 
cuss  (Artemus  Ward),  a  rollicking 

Fetch.  1.  A  stratagem  ;  indirectly 
bringing  something  to  pass  ( 1576).  2. 
A  success.  3.  A  likeness :  e.g.  the 
very  fetch  of  him,  his  very  image  or 
spit  (q.v.) :  also  an  apparition.  As 
verb,  ( 1 )  to  please,  excite  admiration, 
arouse  attention  or  interest  (1607). 
(2)  To  get,  do.  Some  combinations  are 
To  fetch  the  farm,  to  get  infirmary 
treatment  and  diet ;  to  fetch  a  stinger, 
(colloquial),  to  get  in  a  heavy  blow ; 
to  fetch  a  lagging  (thieves'),  to  serve 
one's  term  ;  to  fetch  a  howl,  to  cry  ;  to 
fetch  a  crack,  to  strike ;  to  fetch  a  cir- 
cumbendibus, to  make  a  detour ;  to 
fetch  the  brewer,  to  get  drunk.  To 
fetch  away,  to  part ;  e.g.  A  fool  and 
his  money  are  soon  fetched  away.  To 



Fieri  Facias. 

fetch  up,  1.  to  stop  ;  to  run  against.  2. 
To  startle.  3.  To  come  to  light.  4. 
To  recruit  one's  strength  after  illness. 
Fetching,  attractive  (as  of  women), 
pleasing  (as  of  a  dress  or  bonnet). 

Fettle.  In  good  (or  in  proper) 
fettle,  drunk. 

Few.  A  few  (or  Just  a  few),  origin- 
ally a  little.  Hence,  by  implication, 
on  the  lucus  a  non  lucendo  prin- 
ciple, considerably ;  e.g.  Were  you 
alarmed  ?  No,  but  I  was  astonished 
a  few  !  i.e.  I  was  greatly  surprised : 
cf.  Rather,  a  good  deal  (1778). 

Fib.  1.  To  beat,  specifically  (pugil- 
ism) to  get  in  a  quick  succession  of 
blows,  as  when  you  get  your  man 
round  the  neck  (i.e.  in  chancery)  and 
pommel  his  ribs  and  face  (1665).  2. 
To  lie  (1694).  Also,  used  substan- 
tively,  (1)  a  lie,  (2)  a  liar  (1738). 

Fibber.     A  liar  (1748). 

Fibbery.     Lying. 

Fibbing.  1.  Pummelh'ng  an  op- 
ponent's head  while  '  in  chancery,' 
drubbing :  Fr.,  bordee  de  coups  de 
poings.  2.  Lying. 

Fibbing-gloak.     A  pugilist. 

Fibbing-match.    A  prize-fight. 

Fibster.    A  liar. 

Fiddle.  1.  A  sharper  ;  sometimes 
Old  fiddle  :  see  Rook.  2.  A  swindle  : 
see  Sell.  3.  A  whip.  4.  A  fiddle  on 
which  to  play  a  tune  called  '  Four 
pounds  of  oakum  a  day ' — a  piece  of 
rope  and  a  long  crooked  nail.  5. 
(Stock  Exchange).  One  sixteenth 
part  of  a  pound.  6.  A  watchman's 
(or  policeman's)  rattle.  7.  A  six- 
pence :  see  Rhino,  and  cf.  Fiddler's 
money.  As  verb,  (1)  to  trifle,  especi- 
ally with  the  hands  (1663).  (2)  To 
cheat,  specifically,  to  gamble.  (3)  To 
earn  a  livelihood  by  doing  small 
jobs  on  the  street.  (4)  To  intrigue. 
(5)  To  strike.  Scotch  fiddle,  the  itch. 
To  hang  up  the  fiddle,  to  abandon 
an  undertaking.  To  play  first  (or 
second)  fiddle,  to  take  a  leading  or 
a  subordinate  part.  Among  tailors 
second  fiddle,  an  unpleasant  task. 
Fit  as  a  fiddle,  in  good  form  or  con- 
dition. See  Fiddle-de-dee. 

Fiddle-faced.  Wizened,  also  sub- 

Fiddle-faddle.  Twaddling,  trifling, 
'little  nothings,'  rot  (q.v.):  Fr.,  oui, 
lea  landers  !  (1593).  As  adj.,  trifling, 
fussy,  fluffing  (1712).  As  verb,  to 
toy,  trifle,  talk  nonsense,  gossip, 

make  much  cry  and  little  wool. 
(1761).  Also  Fiddle  -  faddler,  one 
inclined  to  Fiddle-faddles. 

Fiddle  -  head.  A  plain  prow  as 
distinguished  from  a  figure  -  head  : 
Hence  Fiddle-headed,  plain,  ugly. 

Fiddler.  1.  A  trifler,  a  careless, 
negligent,  or  dilatory  person.  2.  A 
sharper,  cheat ;  also  Fiddle  (q.v.).  3. 
A  prize-fighter ;  one  who  depends 
more  on  activity  than  upon  strength 
or  stay.  4.  A  sixpence.  [From 
the  old  custom  of  each  couple  at  a 
dance  paying  the  fiddler  a  sixpence  :  cf. 
Fiddler's-money.]  5.  A  farthing  :  see 

Fiddlers' -fare.  Meat,  drink,  and 
money  (Grose). 

Fiddlers' -green.  A  sailor's  elysium 
(situate  on  the  hither  and  cooler 
side  of  hell)  of  wine,  women,  and 

Fiddlers' -money.  Sixpences :  see 
Rhino.  [From  the  custom  at  country 
merry-makings  of  each  couple  paying 
the  fiddler  sixpence.]  Also  generic- 
ally,  small  silver. 

Fiddlestick!  Nonsense:  sometimes 
Fiddlestick's  end  and  Fiddle-de-dee 
(1610).  As  subs.,  A  spring  saw.  2.  A 

Fiddling.  1.  A  livelihood  got  on 
the  streets,  holding  horses,  carrying 
parcels,  etc.  2.  Buying  a  thing  for 
a  mere  trifle,  and  selling  it  for  double, 
or  for  more.  3.  Idling,  trifling.  4. 
Gambling.  As  adj.,  trifling,  trivial, 
fussing  with  nothing  (1667). 

Fid  -  fad.  A  contracted  form  of 
Fiddle-faddle  (q.v.) ;  also  applied  to 
persons  (1754). 

Fidlam-bens  (or  coves).  Thieves 
who  steal  anything  they  can  lay 
hands  on  :  also  St.  Peter's  sons. 

Field.  To  chop  the  field,  to  win 

Fielder.  A  backer  of  the  field 
i.e.  the  ruck  (q.v.),  as  against  the 
favourite].  At  cricket,  a  player  in 
the  field  as  against  those  at  the 

Field-lane  Duck.  A  baked  sheep's 

Fient  (Scots  colloquial).  An  ex- 
pression of  negation  :  e.g.  Fient  a  hair 
care  I,  Devil  a  hair  I  care. 

Fieri  Facias.  To  have  been  served 
with  a  writ  of  fieri  facias,  said  of  a  red- 
nosed  man.  [A  play  upon  words.] 


Fiery  Lot. 

Filch  wav. 

Fiery  Lot.  Fast  (q.v.),  rollicking, 
applied  to  a  hot  member  (q.v.). 

Fiery  Snorter.    A  red  nose. 

Fifer.  1.  A  waistcoat  hand.  2. 
A  native  of  the  Kingdom  (q.v.),  i.e. 
the  county  of  Fife. 

Fi-fi  (or  fie-fie).  Indecent,  blue,  or 

Fifteener.  A  book  printed  in  the 
15th  century. 

Fifth  Rib.  To  hit  (dig,  or  poke) 
one  under  the  fifth  rib,  to  deliver  a 
heavy  blow,  dumbfound. 

Fig.  1.  A  gesture  of  contempt  made 
by  thrusting  forth  the  thumb  between 
the  fore  and  middle  fingers ;  whence 
the  expression,  I  do  not  care,  or  would 
not  give,  a  fig  for  you  :  FT.,  je  ne 
voudrais  pas  en  donner  un  ferret 
d'aiguillette :  see  other  similes  of 
worthlessness,  Curse,  Straw,  Rush, 
Chip,  Cent,  Dam,  etc.  ( 1599).  [Italian : 
When  the  Milanese  revolted  against 
the  Emperor  Frederick  Barbarossa 
they  set  his  Empress  hind  before  upon 
a  mule,  and  thus  expelled  her.  Fred- 
erick afterwards  besieged  and  took  the 
city,  and  compelled  all  his  prisoners, 
on  pain  of  death,  to  extract  with  his 
(or  her)  teeth  a  fig  from  the  funda- 
ment of  a  mule  and,  the  thing  being 
done,  to  say  in  announcement,  Ecco 
la  fica.  Thus  far  la  fica  became  a 
universal  mode  of  derision.  Fr., 
faire  la  figue  ;  Ger.,  die  Feigen  weisen  ; 
It.,  far  le  fiche  ;  Dutch,  De  vyghe  setten. 
2.  Dress.  In  full  fig,  in  full  dress. 
As  verb,  to  ginger  a  horse.  To  fig 
out,  to  show  off,  dress  ;  don  one's  war 
paint  (q.v.).  To  fig  up,  to  restore, 
reanimate  (as  a  gingered  horse). 

Figaro.  A  barber.  [From  Le 
Nozze  di  Figaro.] 

Figdean.  To  kill :  see  Cook  one's 

Figged.    See  Jigged. 

Figger  (or  Figure).    See  Fagger. 

Figging- (or  Fagging-lay).  Pocket- 

Fight.  A  party  ;  e.g.  Tea  fight, 
Wedding-fight,  etc. :  cf.  Scramble, 
Worry,  Row.  To  fight  or  play 
eoeum:  see  Cocum.  To  fight  (or 
buck)  the  tiger :  see  Buck.  One  that 
can  fight  his  weight  in  wild  cats,  a 
brilliant  desperado. 

Fighting  -  cove.  A  professional 
pugilist,  specifically  one  wno  '  boxes  ' 
for  a  livelihood  at  fairs,  race-meetings, 

Fighting  Fifth  (The).  The  Fifth 
Foot.  [So  distinguished  in  the  Pen- 
insula.] Other  nicknames  were  the 
Shiners  (in  1764,  from  its  clean  and 
smart  appearance) ;  The  Old  Bold 
Fifth  (also  Peninsular) ;  and  Lord 
Wellington's  Body  Guard  (it  was  at 
headquarters  in  1811). 

Fighting  Ninth  (The).  The  Ninth 
Foot  Also  Holy  Boys  (Peninsular), 
from  its  selling  its  Bibles  for  drink. 

Fighting-tight  Drunk  and 
quarrelsome :  see  Screwed. 

Fig-leaf.  An  apron.  In  fencing, 
the  padded  shield  worn  over  the 
lower  abdomen  and  right  thigh  :  Fr., 
petite  bannette. 

Figs  (also  Figgins).     A  grocer. 

Figure.  1.  Appearance,  conduct ; 
e.g.  to  cut  a  good  or  bad  figure,  a  mean 
figure,  sorry  figure,  etc.  (1712).  2. 
Paps  and  posteriors ;  said  only  of 
women.  ATo  figure,  wanting  in  both 
particulars.  As  verb,  to  single  out,  spot 
(q.v.).  Figure,  like  Fetch,  comes  in  for 
a  good  deal  of  hard  work  in  America. 
It  is  colloquially  equivalent  to  '  count 
upon  '  ;  as,  You  may  figure  on  getting 
a  reply  by  return  mail ;  also,  to  strive 
for.  To  figure  on  [a  thing],  to  think  it 
over ;  to  figure  out,  to  estimate  ;  to 
figure  up,  to  add  up  ;  to  cut  a  figure,  see 
Cut ;  to  go  the  whole  figure,  to  be 
thorough  ;  to  go  the  big  figure,  to  launch 
out ;  to  miss  a  figure,  to  make  a  mis- 

Figure-dancer.    A  manipulator  of 
the  face  value  of  banknotes,  cheques, 
and  paper  security  generally  (Grose). 
I,  Figure-head.     The  face  :  see  Dial, 
i  Figure-maker.    Awencher. 

Figure  (or  Number)  Six.  A  lock  of 
hair  brought  down  from  the  forehead, 
greased,  twisted  spirally,  and  plastered 
on  the  face  :  see  Aggerawator. 

Filbert.  Cracked  in  the  filbert, 
crazy  ;  a  variant  of  Wrong  in  the  nut 
(q.v.)  or  Upper  storey. 

Filch.  1.  To  steal :  specifically  to 
pilfer  (1567).  2.  To  beat  As  subs., 
a  thief. 

Filcher  (or  Filch).    A  thief. 

Filchman  (or  Filch).  A  thief  s 
hooked  staff :  '  He  carries  a  short 
staff  in  his  hand,  which  is  called  a 
filch,  having  in  the  nab  or  head  of  it  a 
ferme  (that  is  to  say  a  hole)  into  which, 
upon  any  piece  of  service,  when  he 
goes  a  filching,  he  putteth  a  hooke  of 
iron,  with  which  hooke  he  angles  at 




a  window  in  the  dead  of  night  for 
shirts,  smockes,  or  any  other  linen  or 
woollen '  (Dekker). 

File.  1.  A  pickpocket :  also  file 
cloy  (or  bung  nipper) :  Fr.,  poisse  a  la 
detourne  (1754).  As  verb,  to  pick 
pockets.  2.  A  man  :  i.e.  a  cove  (q.v.). 
Thus  silent  file  (Fr.  lime  sourde),  a 
dumb  man;  dose -file,  a  miser,  or  a 
person  not  given  to  blabbing ;  hard- 
file,  a  grasper  (q.v.) ;  old  file,  an  elder  ; 
and  so  forth. 

Filing-lay.  Pocket  -  picking 

Filling  at  the  Price.     Satisfying. 

Fill.  Fill  one's  pipe.  To  attain  to 
easy  circumstances.  Fill  the  bill,  to 
excel  in  conspicuousness :  as  a  star 
actor  whose  name  is  '  billed '  to  the 
exclusion  of  the  rest  of  the  company. 
Hence,  by  implication,  out  of  the 
common  run  of  things ;  e.g.  That  fills 
the  bill,  that  takes  the  cake,  for  a  lie, 
an  effect,  an  appearance — anything. 
Fill  the  bin,  to  be  beyond  question, 
come  up  to  the  mark  ;  e.g.  Is  the  news 
reliable  ?  Yes,  it  fills  the  bin. 

Fillupey.     Satisfying. 

Filly.  A  girl ;  specifically  a 
wanton  :  among  thieves,  a  daughter 

Filth.     A  prostitute  (1602). 

Fimble  -  f  amble.  A  lame  excuse, 
prevaricating  answer. 

Fin.  The  arm ;  also  the  hand : 
Fr.,  nageoire  :  To  tip  the  fin,  to  shake 
hands  (Grose). 

Find  (Harrow).  A  mess  of  three 
or  four  upper  boys  which  teas  and 
breakfasts  in  the  rooms  of  one  or 
other  of  the  set.  Find-fag,  a  fag  who 
provides  for,  or  finds,  upper  boys. 

Finder.  1.  A  thief;  specifically  a 
meat- market  thief.  2.  (Oxford  Uni- 
versity). A  waiter ;  especially  at 

Fine.  Punishment,  a  term  of  im- 
prisonment. To  fine,  to  sentence. 
To  cut  it  fine,  see  Cut  fine.  To  get 
one  down  fine  and  dose,  to  find  out  all 
about  a  man,  deliver  a  stinging  blow. 
All  very  fine  and  large,  an  interjection 
of  (1)  approval,  (2)  derision,  and  (3) 
incredulity.  [The  refrain  of  a  music- 
hall  song  excessively  popular  about 
1886-88.]  Fine  as  fivepence :  see 
Fivepence.  Fine  day  for  the  young 
ducks,  a  very  wet  day.  Fine  words 
butter  no  parsnips,  a  sarcastic  retort 
upon  large  promises. 

Fine-drawing.  Accomplishing  an 
end  without  discovery. 

Fineer  (and  Fineering). 
Running  into  debt ;  getting  goods 
made  in  such  a  fashion  as  to  be  unfit 
for  every  other  purchaser,  and  if  the 
tradesman  refuses  to  give  them  on 
credit,  then  threatens  to  leave  them 
upon  his  hands  (Goldsmith). 

Fine-madam.  An  epithet  of  envy  or 
derision  for  one  above  her  station. 

Finger.  A  '  nip,'  usually  ap- 
plied to  spirituous  liquors.  Thus, 
Three  fingers  of  clear  juice,  Three 
'  goes  '  of  whisky.  To  put  the  finger 
in  the  eye,  to  weep  (Grose). 

Finger  -  and  -  thumb.  A  road  or 
highway,  i.e.  drum. 

Finger-better.  A  man  who  bets  on 
credit ;  also  one  who  points  out  cards. 

Finger-post.     A  clergyman. 

Finger  -  smith.  1.  A  pickpocket. 
2.  A  midwife :  Fr.,  Madame  tire- 
monde  (or  tire-pouce,  tire-m6mes). 

Finish.     To  kill. 

Finisher.  Something  that  gives 
the  last,  the  settling  touch  to  any- 
thing: see  Corker,  Clincher,  etc. 

F  i  n  j  y !  (Winchester  College). 
An  exclamation  excusing  one  from 
participation  hi  an  unpleasant  or  un- 
acceptable task,  which  he  who  says 
the  word  last  has  to  undertake. 

Finnuf.      See  Finnup. 

Finnup  (also  Finnip,  Finnuf 
Finnif ,  Finnic,  Finn,  or  Fin) .  A  five 
pound  note  or  Flimsy  (q.v.)  [A 
Yiddish  pronunciation  of  German 
ficnf,  five.]  Also  Finnup  ready, 
ready  money  :  hi  America,  Finnup,  a 
five  dollar  bill.  Double  finnup,  a  ten 
pound  note. 

Fippenny.  A  clasp  knife :  see  Chive. 

Fire.  Danger.  Like  a  house  on 
fire,  easily  and  rapidly :  cf.  House, 
Winking,  One  o'clock,  Cake,  Brick, 
etc.  To  fire  a  slug,  to  drink  a  dram 
(Grose).  To  fire  a  gun,  to  introduce 
a  story  by  head  and  shoulders,  lead 
up  to  a  subject  (Grose).  To  set  the 
Thames  on  fire,  to  do  some  next-to- 
impossible  task,  to  be  exceptionally 
clever  ;  used  negatively  in  sarcasm. 

Fire  and  Light.     A  master-at-arms. 

Fired.  Arrested,  turned  out,  and 
(among  artists)  rejected. 

Fire-eater.  In  Old  Cant  a  quick- 
worker  ;  and  in  modern  English,  a 
duellist  or  bully  :  also  Fire-eating. 




Fire-escape.    A  clergyman. 

Fire-prigger.  A  thief  whose  venue 
is  a  conflagration  (Grose). 

Fire-spaniel.  A  soldier  who 
nurses  the  barrack-room  fire :  syn- 
onyms are:  fire-dog,  fire- worshipper, 
chimney  -  ornament,  fender  -  guard, 
and  cuddle-chimney. 

Firewater.     Ardent  spirits. 

Fireworks.  A  state  of  disturb- 
ance, mental  excitement :  e.g.  Fire- 
works on  the  brain,  a  fluster. 

Firk.     To  beat  (1599). 

Firkytoodle.  To  caress.  English 
synonyms :  to  canoodle,  to  fiddle,  to 
mess  (or  pull)  about,  to  slewther 
(Irish),  to  spoon,  to  crooky,  to  fam. 

Firmed.     See  Well-firmed. 

First  -  chop.  First  rate.  [From 
Hind.,  chaap,  a  stamp,  an  official 
mark  on  weights  and  measures ; 
hence  used  to  signify  quality.]  Also 
Second-chop  (q.v.). 

First-flight.  In  the  first  flight 
those  first  in  at  the  finish  ;  in  fox- 
hunting those  in  at  the  death. 

First-nighter.  An  habitue 
of  theatrical  first- performances. 

First-night  Wrecker.  See  Wrecker. 

Fish.  1.  A  man  ;  generally  in  con- 
tempt or  disparagement,  as  Odd  fish, 
Loose  fish,  Queer  fish,  Scaly  fish,  Shy 
fish.  2.  Pieces  cut  out  of  garments  to 
make  them  fit  close.  As  verb,  to 
attempt  to  obtain  by  artifice,  seek  in- 
directly, curry  favour.  Pretty  kettle 
of  fish,  a  perplexing  state  of  affairs, 
quandary.  To  have  other  fish  to  fry,  to 
have  other  business  on  hand.  To  be 
neither  fish  nor  flesh,  to  be  neither  one 
thing  nor  another ;  said  of  waverers 
and  nondescripts ;  sometimes  ex- 
tended to  Neither  fish,  flesh,  fowl,  nor 
good  red  herring  (1598). 

Fish-broth.  Water :  see  Adam's 
ale  (1599). 

Fisher.  A  lick-spittle  ;  only  used 

Fishhooks.    The  fingers  :  see  Forks. 

Fishmarket.  The  lowest  hole  at 
bagatelle,  Simon  (q.v.). 

Fishy.  Effete,  dubious,  or  seedy 
(of  persons) :  unsound,  or  equivocal 
(of  things).  Also  Fishiness,  unsound- 

Fist.  1.  Handwriting :  FT.,  la 
cape.  2.  A  workman.  Good  fist,  a 
good  workman.  3.  An  index  hand. 
As  verb,  (1)  to  apprehend  (1598).  2. 
To  take  hold  :  e.g.  Just  you  fist  that 

scrubbing  brush,  and  set  to  work. 
To  put  up  one's  fist,  to  acknowledge  a 
fact :  cf.  Fill  the  bin  and  acknowledge 
the  corn. 

Fit.  Suitable,  in  good  form.  Fit 
as  a  fiddle,  in  perfect  condition.  To 
fit  like  a  ball  of  wax,  to  fit  close  to  the 
skin.  To  fit  like  a  sentry  box,  to  fit 
badly.  To  fit  like  a  glove,  to  fit  per- 
fectly. To  fit  to  a  T,  to  fit  to  a  nicety. 
[In  reference  to  the  T  square  used  in 
drawing.]  To  fit  up  a  show,  to  ar- 
range an  exhibition. 

Fitch's  Grenadiers.  The  Eighty- 
Third  Foot.  [From  the  small  stature 
of  the  men  and  the  name  of  the  first 

Fits.  To  beat  into  fits  :  see  Beat 
and  Creation. 

Fitter.    A  burglar's  locksmith. 

Fit-up.  A  small  company:  also 
used  adjectively  :  see  Conscience. 

Five-fingers.  The  five  of  trumps 
in  the  game  of  Don  or  Five  Cards 

Fiver.  Anything  that  counts  as 
five  ;  specifically  a  five- pound  note  : 
cf.  Finn. 

Five  over  Five.  Said  of  people 
who  turn  in  their  toes. 

Fivepence.  As  fine  (or  as  grand), 
as  fivepence  (or  as  fippence),  as  fine  as 
possible :  cf.  As  neat  as  ninepence 

Fives.  1.  The  fingers.  Bunch  of 
fives,  the  fist :  see  Forks  (1629).  Also 
the  feet.  2.  A  fight 

Fix.  A  dilemma ;  frequently  in  con- 
junction with  Awful  (q.v.)  and  Regu- 
lar (q.v.),  e.g.  An  awful  fix,  a  terrible 
position.  Variants  are  Cornered,  Up 
a  tree,  Up  a  close,  Under  a  cloud,  In  a 
scrape :  FT.,  avoir  des  mots  avec  les 
sergots,  to  run  amuck  of  the  police. 
As  verb,  (1)  to  arrest  (1789).  (2)  A 
general  verb  of  action.  Everything  is 
fixed  except  the  meaning  of  the  word 
itself.  The  farmer  fixes  his  fences, 
the  mechanic  his  work- bench,  the 
seamstress  her  sewing-machine,  the 
fine  lady  her  hair,  and  the  schoolboy 
his  books.  The  minister  has  to  fix 
his  sermon,  the  doctor  to  fix  his 
medicines,  the  lawyer  to  fix  his  brief. 
Dickens  was  requested  to  un-fix  his 
straps  ;  eatables  are  fixed  for  a  meal ; 
a  girl  unfixes  herself  to  go  to  bed,  and 
fixes  herself  up  to  go  for  a  walk.  At 
public  meetings  it  is  fixed  who  are  to 
be  the  candidates  for  office  ;  rules  are 




fixed  to  govern  an  institution,  and 
when  the  arrangements  are  made  the 
people  contentedly  say,  Now  every- 
thing is  fixed  nicely.  To  fix  the 
ballot  box,  to  tamper  with  returns. 
Anyhow  (or  nohow)  you  can  or  can't 
fix  it :  see  Anyhow.  To  fix  one's 
flint,  to  settle  one's  hash  :  see  Cook 
one's  goose  (1835).  To  fix  up,  to  settle, 

Fixings.  A  noun  of  all  work : 
applied  to  any  and  everything. 

Fiz  (or  Fizz).  Champagne;  some- 
times lemonade  and  ginger-beer  :  see 

Fiz-gig.     A  firework. 

Fizzer.  Anything  first-rate  :  cf. 

Fizzing.  First-rate.  English 
synonyms:  Al,  cheery,  clean  wheat, 
clipping,  crack,  creamy,  crushing, 
first  chop,  first-class,  first-rate,  or  (in 
America)  first-rate  and  a  half,  hunky, 
jammy,  jonnick,  lummy,  nap,  out- 
and-out,  pink,  plummy,  proper,  real 
jam,  right  as  ninepence,  ripping, 
rooter,  rum,  screaming,  scrumptious, 
ship-shape,  slap-up,  slick,  splenda- 
cious,  splendiferous,  to  rights,  tip-top, 
true  marmalade,  tsing-tsing. 

Fizzle.  A  ridiculous  failure, 
flash  in  the  pan :  in  many  of  the 
United  States  colleges,  the  term=a 
blundering  recitation.  To  hit  just 
one  third  of  the  meaning  constitutes 
a  perfect  fizzle.  As  verb,  to  fail  in 
reciting,  recite  badly.  Also  (said  of 
an  instructor)  to  cause  one  to  fail  at 
reciting.  At  some  American  colleges 
Flunk  (q.v.)  is  the  common  word  for 
an  utter  failure.  To  Fizzle,  to  stumble 
through  at  last. 

Flabbergast.  To  astound,  stagger, 
either  physically  or  mentally  (1772). 

Flabberdegaz.  Words  interpolated 
to  dissemble  a  lapse  of  memory,  Gag 
(q.v.).  Also,  imperfect  utterance  or 
bad  acting. 

Flag.  1.  A  groat,  fourpenny  piece  : 
also  Flagg,  and  Flagge :  see  Rhino 
(1567).  2.  An  apron ;  hence  a  badge 
of  office  or  trade  :  cf.  Flag-flasher.  3. 
A  jade  (1539).  To  fly  the  flag,  to  post 
a  notice  that  hands  are  wanted. 

Flag  of  Defiance.  A  drunken 
roysterer :  see  Lushington.  To  hang 
out  the  flag  of  defiance  (or  bloody  flag), 
to  be  continuously  drunk. 

Flag-flasher.  One  sporting  a 
or  other  ensign  of  office 

(cap,  apron,  uniform,  etc.)  when  off 

Flag-about.     A  strumpet. 

Flag -flying.     See  Flag. 

Flag  of  Distress.  1.  A  card  an- 
nouncing lodgings,  or  board  and 
lodgings.  Hence,  any  overt  sign  of 
poverty.  2.  A  flying  shirt-tail;  in 
America,  a  letter  in  the  post-office 

Flagger.     A  street-walker. 

Flags.  Linen  drying  and  flying  in 
the  wind. 

Flag  Unfurled.  A  man  of  the 

Flag-wagging.      Flag-signal  drill. 

Flam.  1.  Nonsense  (for  synonyms, 
see  Gammon),  humbug,  flattery,  or 
a  lie  :  as  a  regular  flam  (1598).  2.  A 
single  stroke  on  the  drum  (Orose).  As 
adj.,  false.  As  verb,  (1)  to  take  in, 
flatter,  lie,  foist  or  fob  off.  Flamming, 
lying.  (2)  (American  University).  To 
affect,  or  prefer,  female  society. 

Flambustious.  Showy,  gaudy, 

Flamdoodle.  Nonsense,  vain 
boasting.  Probably  a  variant  of 
Flapdoodle  (q.v.). 

Flame.  1.  A  sweetheart,  mistress 
in  keeping.  Old  flame,  an  old  lover, 
cast-off  mistress  (1664).  Also,  2.  a 
venereal  disease. 

Flamer.  A  man,  woman,  thing,  or 
incident  above  the  common. 

Flames.  A  red-haired  person  : 
cf.  Carrots  and  Ginger. 

Flaming.  Conspicuous,  ardent, 
stunning  (q.v.) :  see  Al  (1738). 

Flanderkin.  A  very  large  fat 
man  or  horse  ;  also  natives  of  Flanders 
(B.  E.). 

Flanders-fortunes.  Of  small  sub- 
stance (B.  E.). 

Flanders  -  pieces.  Pictures  that 
look  fair  at  a  distance,  but  coarser 
near  at  hand  (B.  E.). 

Flank.  1.  To  crack  a  whip  ;  also, 
to  hit  a  mark  with  the  lash  of  one. 
2.  To  deliver  a  blow  or  a  retort, 
push,  hustle,  quoit  (Shakespeare) :  Fr., 
flanquer.  A  plate  of  thin  flank,  a 
sixpenny  cut  off  the  joint.  To 
flank  the  whole  bottle,  to  dodge,  i.e.  to 
outflank,  to  achieve  by  strategy. 

Flanker.     A  blow,  retort,  kick. 

Flankey.     The  posteriors. 

Flannel.     See  Hot  flannel. 

Flannels.  To  get  one's  flannels, 
to  get  a  place  in  the  school  football 




or  cricket  teams,  or  in  the  boats :  of. 
to  get  one's  colours,  or,  one's  blue. 

Flap.  1.  Sheet- lead  used  for  roof- 
ing: Pr..doussin,  noir :  cf.  Bluey.  2. 
A  blow  (1539).  As  verb,  (1)  to  rob, 
swindle.  2.  To  pay,  fork  out.  To 
flap  a  jay,  to  swindle  a  greenhorn,  sell 
a  pup  (q.v.).  To  flap  the  dimmock,  to 

Flapdoodle.  1.  Transparent 
nonsense,  kid.  Also  Flamdoodle, 
Flamsauce,  or  Flap-sauce :  see  Gam- 
mon. To  talk  flapdoodle,  to  brag, 
talk  nonsense. 

Flapdoodler.  A  braggart  agitator, 
one  that  makes  the  eagle  squeal  (q.v.), 

Flap-dragon.  To  gulp  down 
hastily,  as  in  the  game  of  flap-dragon 

Flap  man.  A  convict  promoted 
for  good  behaviour  to  first  or  second 

Flapper.  1.  The  hand  ;  also  Flap- 
per-shaker :  see  Daddle.  2.  A  little 
girl.  [Also  a  fledgling  wild  duck.] 
3.  A  very  young  prostitute.  4.  A 
dustman's  or  coalheaver's  hat,  a 
Fantail  (q.v.).  5.  (in  pi.).  Very 
long- pointed  shoes  worn  by  nigger 
minstrels.  6.  A  parasite  ;  a  remem- 

Flapper- shaking.     Hand-shaking. 

Flap-sauce.    See  Flapdoodle. 

Flare.  1.  Primarily  a  stylish 
craft ;  hence,  by  implication,  anything 
out  of  the  common.  2.  A  row,  dispute, 
drunk,  or  spree.  As  verb,  (1)  speci- 
fically to  whisk  out ;  hence,  to  steal 
actively,  lightly,  or  delicately.  2. 
To  swagger,  go  with  a  bounce.  All 
of  a  flare,  bunglingly. 

Flaring.  Excessive:  e.g.  a  flaring 
lie,  flaring  drunk  :  see  Flaming. 

Flare-up  (or  -out).  An  orgie,  fight, 
outburst  of  temper.  Also  a  spree. 
English  synonyms:  barney,  batter, 
bean-feast,  beano,  breakdown,  burst, 
booze  (specifically  a  drinking  -  bout), 
caper,  devil's  delight,  dust,  fanteague, 
fight,  flare,  flats  -yad  (back  slang), 
fly,  gig,  hay-bag,  hell's  delight,  high 
jinks,  hooping  up,  hop,  jagg,  jamboree, 
jump,  junket  ting,  lark,  drive,  randan, 
on  the  tiles,  on  the  fly,  painting  the 
town  (American),  rampage,  razzle- 
dazzle,  reeraw,  ructions,  shake,  shine, 
spree,  sky-wannocking,  tear,  tear 
up,  toot.  As  verb,  to  fly  into  a 

Flash.     1.  The  vulgar  tongue;  the 

lingo  of  thieves  and  th<-ir  associates. 
To  patter  flash,  to  talk  in  thieves' 
lingo.  The  derivation  of  Flash,  like 
that  of  French  argot,  is  entirely  specu- 
lative. It  has,  however,  been  gener- 
ally referred  to  a  district  called  Flash 
(the  primary  signification  as  a  place 
name  is  not  clear),  between  Buxton 
Leek  and  Macclesfield :  there  lived 
many  chapmen  who,  says  Dr.  Aiken 
(Description  of  Country  round  Man- 
chester), '  were  known  as  flash- men  .  .  . 
using  a  sort  of  slang  or  cant  dialect.'] 
(1718).  2.  Hence,  at  one  period, 
especially  during  the  Regency  days, 
the  idiom  of  the  man  about  town,  of 
Tom  and  Jerrydom.  3.  A  boast, 
brag,  or  great  pretence  made  by  a 
spendthrift,  quack,  or  pretender  to 
more  art  or  knowledge  than  he  really 
has.  4.  A  showy  swindler  (e.g.  Sir 
Petronel  Flash) ;  a  blustering  vulgar- 
ian (1605).  5.  A  peruke  or  perriwig. 
6.  A  portion,  a  drink,  go  (q.v.).  As 
adj.,  (1)  relating  to  thieves,  their 
habits,  customs,  devices,  lingo,  etc. 
(2)  Knowing,  expert,  showy,  cf.  Down, 
Fly,  Wide-awake,  etc.  Hence  (popu- 
larly), by  a  simple  transition,  vul- 
garly counterfeit,  showily  shoddy : 
possibly  the  best  understood  mean- 
ings of  the  word  in  latter-day  English. 
To  put  one  flash  to  anything,  to  put  him 
on  his  guard ;  to  inform.  (3)  Vulgar, 
blackguardly,  showy,  applied  to  one 
aping  his  betters.  Hence  (in  Aus- 
tralia), vain-glorious  or  swaggering. 
(4)  In  a  set  style.  Also  used  sub- 
stantively.  Hence,  in  combination, 
Flash-case  (crib,  drum,  house,  ken,  or 
panny ) :  see  Flash  -  ken  ;  Flash  -  cove 
(q.v.);  Flash-dispensary  (American), 
a  boarding  house,  especially  a  swell 
brothel ;  Flash-gentry,  the  swell  mob 
or  higher  class  of  thieves ;  Flash-girl 
(moll,  -mollisher,  -piece,  or  -woman),  a 
showy  prostitute ;  Flash-jig  (costers), 
a  favourite  dance ;  Flash-kiddy,  a 
dandy ;  Flash-lingo  (or  song),  patter, 
or  song  interlarded  with  cant  words 
and  phrases;  Flash  -  man  (q.v.); 
Flash-note,  a  spurious  bank-note ; 
Flash-rider  (American) :  see  Broncho- 
buster  ;  Flash  toggery,  smart  clothes  ; 
Flash  vessel,  a  gaudy  looking,  but 
undisciplined  ship.  As  verb,  (1)  to 
show,  to  expose.  Among  combina- 
tions may  be  mentioned — To  flash 
one's  ivories,  to  show  one's  teeth,  to 
grin  (Grose);  To  flash  the  hash,  to 




vomit  (Grose) ;  To  flash  the  dicky,  to 
show  the  shirt  front ;  To  flash  the 
dibs,  to  show  or  spend  one's  money ; 
To  flash  a  fawney,  to  wear  a  ring  ;  To 
flash  one's  gab,  to  talk,  to  swagger,  to 
brag  ;  To  flash  the  bubs,  to  expose  the 
paps  ;  To  flash  the  muzzle  (q.v.) ;  To 
flash  one's  ticker,  to  air  one's  watch  ; 
To  flash  the  drag,  to  wear  women's 
clothes  for  immoral  purposes ;  To 
flash  the  white  grin  :  see  Grin  ;  To  flash 
the  flag,  to  sport  an  apron ;  To  flash 
the  wedge,  to  fence  the  swag,  etc. 
To  flash  the  muzzle,  to  produce  a  pistol. 
To  flash  it  about  (or  to  cut  a  flash  or 
dash),  to  make  a  display ;  to  live 
conspicuously  and  extravagantly. 

Flash-case  (-crib,  -house,  -drum, 
-ken,  -panny,  etc.)  1.  A  house 
frequented  by  thieves,  as  a  tavern, 
lodging-house,  fence  (q.v.)  (1690). 
2.  A  brothel,  any  haunt  of  loose 

Flash  -  cove  (also  Flash  Com- 
panion). A  thief,  sharper,  fence 

Flash  -  man.  Primarily  a  man 
talking  Flash  ;  hence,  a  rogue,  thief, 
the  landlord  of  a  Flash-case  (q.v.). 
Also  a  Fancy-Joseph.  In  America,  a 
person  with  no  visible  means  of  sup- 
port, but  living  in  style  and  showing 
up  well. 

Flash-of-lightning.  1.  A  glass  of 
gin,  dram  of  neat  spirits :  see  Go 
and  Drinks.  Latterly,  an  American 
drink.  2.  The  gold  braid  on  an 
officer's  cap. 

Flashy  (Flashily,  or  Flashly). 
Empty,  showy,  tawdry,  insipid 

Flash-tail.     A  prostitute. 

Flasher.  A  high-flyer,  fop,  pre- 
tender to  wit  (1779). 

F  1  a  s  h  e  r  y.  Inferior,  vulgar  : 
hence  by  inversion,  elegance,  dash, 
distinction,  display. 

Flash  -  yad  (back  slang).  A  day's 

Flashy  Blade  (or  Spark).  A 
Dandy  (q.v.) ;  now  a  cheap  and  noisy 
swell,  whether  male  or  female :  cf. 
Flasher  (1719). 

Flat.  1.  A  greenhorn,  noddy,  gull : 
see  Buffle  (1762).  2.  An  honest 
man.  3.  A  lover's  dismissal,  jilting. 
As  adj.,  downright,  plain,  straight- 
forward :  as  in  That's  flat !  a  flat  lie, 
flat  burglary,  etc.  (1598).  There  are 
other  usages,  more  or  less  colloquial 

e.g.  Insipid,  tame,  dull :  as  in  Mac- 
aulay's  Flat  as  champagne  in  de- 
canters. On  the  Stock  Exchange, 
flat,  without  interest ;  stock  is  bor- 
rowed flat  when  no  interest  is  al- 
lowed by  the  lender  as  security  for  the 
due  return  of  the  scrip.  As  verb,  to 
jilt.  To  feel  flat  (1),  to  be  low- 
spirited,  out  of  sorts,  Off  colour  (q.v.). 
(2)  To  fail,  give  way :  also  used  sub- 
stantively.  Flat  as  a  flounder  (or 
pancake),  very  flat  indeed  :  also,  flat 
as  be  blowed.  To  brush  up  a  flat : 
see  Brusher.  To  pick  up  a  flat,  to 
find  a  client :  Fr.,  lever  or  faire  un 

Flat-back.  A  bed-bug :  see  Nor 
folk  Howard. 

Flat-broke.  Utterly  ruined, 
Dead-broke  (q.v.). 

Flat-catcher.     An  impostor. 

Flat-catching.     Swindling. 

F  1  a  t  c  h  (back  slang).  1.  A  half. 
Flatch-kennurd,  half  drunk ;  Flatch- 
yenork,  half-a-crown  ;  Flatch-yennep,  a 
half-penny.  2.  A  half-penny :  see 
Rhino.  [An  abbreviation  of  Flatch- 
yennep.]  3.  A  counterfeit  half- 
crown  :  see  Rhino. 

Flat  -  cap.  A  citizen  of  London. 
In  Henry  the  Eighth's  time  flat  round 
caps  were  the  pink  of  fashion ;  but 
when  their  date  was  out,  they  be- 
came ridiculous.  The  citizens  con- 
tinued to  wear  them  long  after 
they  were  generally  disused,  and 
were  often  satirized  for  their  fidelity.] 

Flat-cock.    A  female  (Orose). 

Flat  -  feet.  Specifically  the  Foot 
Guards,  but  also  applied  to  regiments 
of  the  line.  Also  (generally  with 
some  powerful  adjective),  applied  to 
militiamen  to  differentiate  them  from 

Flat-fish  (generally,  a  Regular 
Flat-fish).  A  dullard. 

Flat-footed.  Downright,  resolute, 
honest.  [Western :  the  simile  ia 
common  to  most  languages.] 

Flat-head.  A  greenhorn,  a  Sammy- 
soft  (q.v.) :  see  Buffle. 

Flat-iron.  A  corner  public  house. 
[From  the  triangular  shape.] 

Flattie  (or  Flatty).  A  gull : 
see  Buffle. 

Flat  -  move.  An  attempt  or  pro- 
ject that  miscarries  ;  folly  and  mis- 
management generally  (Grose). 

Flats.    1.  Playing  cards  :  see  King's 




Books.  2.  False  dice:  see  Fulhams. 
3.  Base  money.  Mahogany  flat*, 
bed-bugs :  see  Norfolk  Howards. 

Flats-and-sharps.     Weapons. 

Flatten.  To  flatten  out,  to  get  the 
better  of  (in  argument  or  fight).  Flat- 
tened out,  ruined ;  beaten. 

Flatter  -  trap.  The  mouth  :  FT., 
menteuse :  see  Potato-trap. 

Flatty-ken.  A  house  where  the 
landlord  is  not  awake,  or  fly  to  the 
moves  and  dodges  of  the  trade. 

Flawed.  Half  -  drunk,  a  little 
crooked,  quick-tempered  (Grose) :  see 

Flay  (or  Flay  the  Fox).  1.  To 
vomit :  from  the  subject  to  the  effect, 
says  Cotgrave  ;  for  the  flaying  of  so 
stinking  a  beast  is  like  enough  to  make 
them  spue  that  feel  it.  Now,  To 
shoot  the  cat.  2.  To  clean  out  by 
unfair  means.  To  flay  (or  skin)  a 
flint,  to  be  mean  or  miserly :  see 

Flaybottom  (or  Flaybottomist) . 
A  schoolmaster,  with  a  play  on  the 
word  phlebotomist,  a  blood  -  letter 
(Grose).  FT.,  fouette-cul ;  and  (Cot- 
grave)  Fesse-cul,  a  pedantical  whip- 

Flavour.  To  catch  (or  get) 
the  flavour,  to  be  intoxicated :  see 

Flax.  To  beat  severely ;  to  give  it 
hot  (q.v.). 

Flax-wench.  A  prostitute 

Flea.  To  send  away  with  a  flea  in 
the  ear,  to  dismiss  with  vigour  and 
acerbity.  To  have  a  flea  in  the  ear, 
(1)  to  fail  in  an  enterprise;  and  (2) 
to  receive  a  scolding  or  annoying 
suggestion.  To  sit  on  a  bag  of  fleas,  to 
sit  uncomfortably ;  on  a  bag  of  hen 
fleas,  very  uncomfortably  indeed.  To 
catch  fleas  for,  to  be  on  terms  of  ex- 
treme intimacy :  e.g.  I  catch  her 
fleas  for  her,  She  has  nothing  to  refuse 
me:  cf.  Shakespeare  (' Tempest,'  n.  ii.), 
'  Yet  a  tailor  might  scratch  her 
where'er  she  did  itch.'  In  a  flea's 
leap,  in  next  to  no  time,  instanter 

Flea-and-louse  (rhyming  slang), 
A  house  :  see  Ken. 

Flea-bag.     A  bed  :  FT.,  pucier. 

Flea-bite.     A  trifle  (1630). 

Flea-biting.     A  trifle. 

Flea-  (or  Flay-)  Flint.  A  miser : 
cL  Skinflint  (q.v.)  (1719). 

Flear.  To  grin.  A  /tearing  fool, 
a  grinning  idiot. 

Fleece.  An  act  of  theft :  cf.  old 
proverb,  To  go  out  to  shear  and 
come  home  shorn.  As  verb,  to 
cheat,  shear  or  be  shorn  (as  a  sheep) 
(1593).  Hence  fleeced,  ruined  ;  dead- 
broke  (q.v.). 

Fleecer.     A  thief  (1600). 

Fleeter-face.  A  pale-face,  coward  : 
cf.  Shakespeare's  Cream-faced  loon. 

Fleet-note.     A  forged  note. 

Fleet-of-the-desert.  A  caravan : 
see  Ship  of  the  desert,  camel. 

Fleet-street.  The  estate  of  jour- 
nalism, especially  journalism  of  the 
baser  sort.  Fleet-sir etter,  a  journalist 
of  the  baser  sort ;  a  spunging  Prophet 
(q.v.) ;  a  sharking  dramatic  critic  ;  a 
Spicy  (q.v.)  paragraphist ;  and  so  on. 
Fieet-streetese,  the  so-called  English, 
written  to  sell  by  the  Fleet-streeter 
(q.v.),  or  baser  sort  of  journalist:  a 
mixture  of  sesquipedalians  and  slang, 
of  phrases  worn  threadbare  and 
phrases  sprung  from  the  kennel ;  of 
bad  grammar  and  worse  manners  ;  the 
like  of  which  is  impossible  outside 
Fleet-street  (q.v.),  but  which  in 
Fleet-street  commands  a  price,  and 
enables  not  a  few  to  live. 

Fleg.     To  whip  (Bailey). 

Flemish  -  account.  A  remittance 
less  than  expected ;  hence,  an  un- 
satisfactory account.  [Among  the 
Flemings  (the  merchants  of  Western 
Europe  when  commerce  was  young) 
accounts  were  kept  in  livres,  sols,  and 
pence  ;  but  the  livre  or  pound  onlv= 
12s.,  so  that  what  the  Antwerp  mer- 
chant called  one  livre  thirteen  and 
fourpence  would  in  English  currency 
be  only  20s.]  (1668). 

Flesh  -  and  -  blood.  Brandy  and 
port  in  equal  proportions. 

Flesh  -  bag.  A  shirt  or  chemise. 
English  synonyms  :  biled  rag  (Ameri- 
can), camesa,  carrion-case,  commis- 
sion, dickey  (formerly  a  worn-out 
shirt),  gad  (gipsy),  lully,  mill  tog, 
mish,  narp  (Scots'),  shaker,  shimmy 
(=a  chemise,  JUarryat),  smish. 

Flesh-broker.  1.  A  match-maker 
(1690).  2.  A  procuress  (Grose). 

Flesh-fly  (or  Flesh-maggot).  A 

Flesh-pot.  Sighing  for  the  flesh-pots 
of  Egypt,  hankering  for  good  things 
no  longer  at  command.  [Biblical] 




Flesh  -  tailor.  A  surgeon :  see 

Fleshy  (Winchester  College) : 
see  Cat's  Head. 

Fletch.  A  spurious  coin :  cf.  Flatch. 
Flick  (or  Flig).  1.  A  cut  with  a 
whip-lash ;  hence,  a  blow  of  any  sort. 
A  flicking  is  often  administered  by 
schoolboys  with  a  damp  towel  or 
pocket  -  handkerchief.  2.  A  jocular 
salutation ;  usually  Old  Flick.  As 
verb,  1.  To  cut  (1690).  2.  To  strike 
with,  or  as  with,  a  whip. 

Flicker.  A  drinking  glass.  As 
verb  (1)  to  drink  (Matsett).  (2)  To 
laugh  wantonly ;  also  to  kiss,  or 
lewdly  fondle  a  woman.  Also  Flick- 
ing, (1)  drinking,  and  (2)  wanton 
laughter.  Let  her  flicker,  said  of  any 
doubtful  issue  :  let  the  matter  take  its 

Flicket-a-Flacket.  Onomatopoetic 
for  a  noise  of  flapping  and  flicking 

Flier  (or  Flyer).  1.  A  horse  or  boat 
of  great  speed ;  also  (American  rail- 
way) a  fast  train  ;  hence,  by  implica- 
tion, anything  of  excellence.  2.  A 
shot  in  the  air.  3.  A  small  hand- 
bill, Dodger  (q.v.).  To  take  a  flier, 
to  make  a  venture  ;  to  invest  against 

Flies  (rhyming).  Lies.  Hence, 
nonsense,  trickery,  deceit.  There  are 
no  flies  on  me  (or  him),  I  am  dealing 
honestly  with  you ;  He  is  genuine, 
and  is  not  humbugging.  In  America, 
the  expression  is  used  of  (1)  a  man  of 
quick  parts,  a  man  who  knows  a 
thing  without  its  being  kicked  into 
him  by  a  mule  ;  and  (2)  a  person  of 
superior  breeding  or  descent. 

Fligger  (also  Flicker).  To  grin 

Film.     See  Flimsy. 

Flim-flam.  An  idle  story,  sham, 
Robin  Hood  tale  (q.v.)  (1589).  As 
adj.,  idle,  worthless  (1589). 

Flimp.  To  hustle  or  rob.  To  put 
on  the  flimp,  to  rob  on  the  highway. 
Flimping,  stealing  from  the  person. 

Flimsy  (or  Flim).  1.  A  bank-note. 
Soft-flimsy,  a  note  drawn  on  the 
'  Bank  of  Elegance,'  or  '  The  Bank  of 
Engraving.'  2.  News  of  all  kinds, 
Points  (q.v. ).  First  used  at  Lloyd's. 

Flinders.  Pieces  infinitesimally 

Fling.  1.  A  fit  of  temper.  2.  A 
jeer,  jibe,  personal  allusion  or  attack 

( 1592).  As  verb,  (1)  to  cheat,  get  the 
best  of,  Do  (q.v.)  or  diddle  (Grose). 
(2)  To  dance.  To  fling  out,  to  depart 
in  a  hurry,  and,  especially,  in  a  temper. 
In  a  fling,  in  a  spasm  of  temper.  To 
have  one's  fling,  to  enjoy  full  liberty  of 
action  or  conduct  (1624).  To  fling 
dirt :  see  Dirt. 

Flinger.  A  dancer. 
Fling-dust.  A  street-walker. 
Flint.  A  man  working  for  a 
Union  or  fair  house ;  non- Union- 
ists are  Dung  (q.v.).  Both  terms 
occur  in  Foote's  burlesque,  The 
Tailors :  a  Tragedy  for  Warm  Weather, 
and  they  received  a  fresh  lease  of 
popularity  during  the  tailors'  strike 
of  1832.  Old  Flint,  a  miser :  one 
who  would  skin  a  flint,  i.e.  stoop 
to  any  meanness  for  a  trifle.  To 
fix  one's  flint :  see  Fix.  To  flint  in, 
to  act  with  energy  ;  stand  on  no  cere- 
mony, pitch  into,  tackle.  A  verb  of 
action  well-nigh  as  common  as  Fix 

Flip.  1.  Hot  beer,  brandy,  and 
sugar ;  also,  says  Grose,  called  Sir 
Cloudesley  after  Sir  Cloudesley  Shovel. 
2.  A  bribe  or  douceur.  3.  A  light  blow, 
or  snatch.  As  verb,  to  shoot.  To 
flip  up,  to  spin  a  coin. 

Flip  -  flap.  1.  A  flighty  creature 
(1702).  2.  A  step-dance;  a  Cellar- 
flap  (q.v.).  Also  (acrobats');  a  kind 
of  somersault,  in  which  the  performer 
throws  himself  over  on  his  hands  and 
feet  alternately  (1727).  3.  A  kind  of 
tea-cake.  4.  The  arm  :  see  Bender. 

Flipper.     1.  The  hand.     Tip  ux 
your  flipper,  give  me  your  hand  :  see 
Daddle.     2.  See  Flapper.     3.  Part  of 
a  scene,  hinged  and  painted  on  both 
sides,  used  in  trick  changes. 
Flirtatious.     Flighty. 
Flirt-gill  (Flirtgillian,  or  Gill-flirt). 
A  wanton,   a   chopping  -  girl    (q.v.) ; 
specifically  a  strumpet  (1595). 

Flirtina  Cop  -  all.  A  wanton, 
young  or  old  ;  a  men's  woman  (q.v.). 

Float.  The  footlights :  before  the 
invention  of  gas  they  were  oil-pans 
with  floating  wicks.  //  that's  the  way 
the  stick  floats  :  see  Stick. 

Floater.  1.  An  Exchequer  bill ;  ap- 
plied also  to  other  unfunded  stock.  2. 
A  suet  dumpling  in  soup.  3.  A  vend- 
ible voter.  4.  A  candidate  represent- 
ing several  counties,  and  therefore 
not  considered  directly  responsible  to 
any  one  of  them. 




'  Floating  -  academy.  The  hulks  ; 
also  Campbell's  academy  (q.v.),  and 
Floating  hell  (q.v.). 

Floating  -  batteries.  1.  Broken 
bread  in  tea  ;  also  Slingers  (q.v.).  2. 
The  Confederate  bread  rations  during 
the  Secession.  ^ 

Floating-coffin.    A  rotten  ship.1  ^ 

Floating -hell  (or  Hell  afloat). 
A  ship  commanded  by  (1)  a  brutal 
savage,  or  (2)  a  ruthless  disciplinarian. 

Flock.  A  clergyman's  congrega- 
tion. Also  any  body  of  people  with  a 
common  haunt  or  interest :  e.g.  a 
family  of  children,  a  company  of 
soldiers,  a  school  of  girls  or  boys, 
a  cabful  of  molls,  and  such  like.  To 
fire  into  the  wrong  flock,  to  blunder : 
see  To  bark  up  the  wrong  tree. 

Flock-of-Sheep.  1.  A  hand 
at  dominoes  set  out  on  the  table.  2. 
White-crested  dancing  waves  on  the 
sea,  White  horses  (q.v.). 

Flog.  A  whip :  a  contraction  of 
Flogger  (q.v.).  To  flog  (now  recog- 
nised), is  cited  by  B.  E.  (1690),  and 
Orose.  To  be  flogged  at  the  tumbler,  to 
be  whipped  at  the  cart's  tail :  see 
Tumbler.  To  flog  the  dead  horse,  1.  To 
work  up  an  interest  in  a  bygone  sub- 
ject, try  against  heart,  do  with  no 
will  nor  liking  for  the  job.  [Bright 
said  that  Earl  Russell's  Reform  Bill 
was  a  dead  horse  (q.v.),  and  every 
attempt  to  create  enthusiasm  in  its 
favour  was  flogging  the  dead  horse.] 
2.  To  work  off  an  advance  of  wages. 
To  flog  a  willing  horse,  to  urge  on  one 
who  is  already  putting  forth  his  best 

Flogger.  1.  A  whip:  Fr.,6ouw.  2. 
A  mop  (i.e.  a  bunch  of  slips  of  cloth  on 
a  handle)  used  in  the  painting  room  to 
whisk  the  charcoal  dust  from  a  sketch. 

Flogging.     Careful,  penurious. 

Flogging-cove.  1.  An  official 
who  administers  the  Cat  (q.v.).  2. 
See  Flogging  cully. 

Flogging-cully.  A  man  addicted 
to  flagellation,  a  Whipster  (q.v.). 

Flogging-stake.     A  whipping  post. 

Flogster.  One  addicted  to  flog- 
ging. Specifically  (naval)  a  nick- 
name applied  to  the  Duke  of  Clarence 
(afterwards  William  IV.). 

Floor.  1.  To  knock  down.  Hence 
to  vanquish  in  argument,  make  an 
end  of,  defeat,  confound  (Grose).  To 
floor  the  odds,  said  of  a  low-priced 
horse  that  pulls  off  the  event  in  face  of 

the  betting.  2.  To  finish,  get  outside 
of :  e.g.  I  floored  three  half- pint* 
and  a  nip  before  breakfast  3.  To 
pluck.  Plough  (q.v.).  To  floor  a 
paper  (lesson,  examination,  examiner), 
to  answer  every  question,  master, 
prove  oneself  superior  to  the  occasion. 
To  floor  one's  ticks,  to  surpass  one- 
self. Cut-around  (q.v.).  To  have 
(hold,  or  take)  the  floor,  to  rise  to  ad- 
dress a  public  meeting  ;  in  Ireland,  to 
stand  up  to  dance  ;  and,  in  America, 
to  be  in  possession  of  the  House. 

Floored.  1.  Vanquished,  brought 
under,  ruined.  English  synonyms: 
basketed,  bitched,  bitched-up,  bowled 
out,  broken  up,  buggered  up,  busted, 
caved  in,  choked-off,  cornered,  cooked, 
coopered  up,  dead-beat,  done  brown, 
done  for,  done  on  toast,  doubled  up, 
flattened  out,  fluffed,  flummoxed, 
frummagemmed,  gapped,  gone  through 
St.  Peter's  needle,  done  under,  grav- 
elled, gruelled,  hoofed  out,  in  the  last 
of  pea-time,  or  last  run  of  shad, 
jacked  -  up,  knocked  out  of  time, 
knocked  silly,  looed,  mucked  -  out, 
petered  out,  pocketed,  potted,  put  in 
his  little  bed,  queered  in  his  pitch, 
rantanned,  sat  upon,  sewn  up,  shut- 
up,  smashed  to  smithereens,  snashed, 
snuffed  out,  spread-eagled,  struck  of 
a  heap,  stumped,  tied  up,  timbered, 
treed,  trumped,  up  a  tree.  2.  Drunk  ; 
in  Shakespearean  '  put  down ' ;  as  Sir 
Andrew  Aguecheek,  '  Never  in  your 
life,  I  think,  unless  you  see  canary 
put  me  down'  ("Twelfth  Night,"  i. 
iii.):  see  Screwed.  3.  Hung  low  at  an 
exhibition ;  in  contradistinction  to 
Skyed  (q.v.),  and  On  the  line  (q.v.). 

Floorer.  1.  An  auctioneer  (q.v.), 
or  knock-down  blow.  Hence,  sudden 
or  unpleasant  news,  a  decisive  argu- 
ment, an  unanswerable  retort,  a 
decisive  check:  Sp.,  peso  (1819).  2. 
A  question  or  a  paper  too  hard  to 
master.  3.  A  ball  that  brings  down 
all  the  pins.  4.  A  thief  who  trips  his 
man,  and  robs  in  picking  him  up ;  a 
Ramper  (q.v.). 

Flooring.  Knocking  down :  hence, 
to  vanquish  in  all  senses. 

Floor -walker.    A  shop-walker. 

Flop.  1.  A  Bite  (q.v.),  a  successful 
dodge  (1856).  2.  A  sudden  fall  or 
flop  down.  3.  A  collapse  cr  break- 
down. 4.  (For  Flap  or  Flip).  A 
light  blow  (1662).  As  verb,  (1)  to 
fall,  or  flap  down  suddenly :  FT., 




prendre  un  billet  de  parterre  (1742). 
(2)  To  knock  down.  As  adj.,  An 
onomatopoeia  expressive  of  the  noise 
of  a  sudden  and  sounding  fall.  Often 
used  expletively,  as  Slap  (q.v.)  is,  and 
the  American,  Right  (q.v.)  (1726). 
To  flop  over,  to  turn  heavily  ;  hence 
(in  America),  to  make  a  sudden 
change  of  sides,  association,  or 
allegiance.  Flop  up,  a  day's  tramp, 
as  opposed  to  a  Sot-down,  half  a 
day's  travel.  Flop  up  time,  Bedtime. 
Flop,  too,  is  something  of  a  vocable  of 
all-work.  Thus,  to  flop  round,  to  loaf, 
to  dangle  ;  to  do  a  flop  (colloquial),  to 
sit,  or  to  fall,  down:  to  flop  out,  to 
leave  the  water  noisily  and  awk- 
wardly ;  a  flop  in  the  gills,  &  smack  in 
the  mouth. 

Florence.  A  wench  that  has  been 
touzed  and  ruffled  (B.  E.). 

Floster.  A  mixed  drink :  sherry, 
noyau,  peach  -  leaves,  lemon,  sugar, 
ice,  and  soda-water. 

Flouch.  To  fall  (or  go)  flouch  (or 
floush),  to  come  to  pieces,  sag  sud- 
denly on  the  removal  of  a  restraining 
influence,  as  a  pair  of  stays. 

Flounce.  To  move  with  violence, 
and  (generally)  in  anger.  Said  of 
women,  for  whom  such  motion  is,  or 
rather  was,  inseparable  from  a  great 
flourishing  of  flounces. 

Flounder.  1.  A  drowned  corpse  : 
see  Stiff.  2.  To  sell,  and  afterwards 
re-purchase  a  stock,  or  vice-versd. 

Flounder-and-Dab.    A  cab. 

Flour.  Money  :  generic  :  see 

Flourish.  To  be  in  luck :  e.g.  I 
flourish,  I  am  well  off  ;  Do  you  flourish, 
or  Are  you  flourishing  ?  Have  you  got 
any  money  ?  Flourishing,  a  retort  to 
the  inquiry,  How  are  you  ?  The 
equivalent  of  Pretty  well,  thank 
you  ! 

Flowery.  Lodging,  entertain- 
ment ;  Square  the  omee  for  the 
flowery,  pay  the  landlord  for  the 
lodging.  [Lingua  Franca,'} 

Flowery  Language.  Blasphemous 
and  obscene  speech. 

Flowing  -  hope.      A  forlorn  hope. 

Flub-dub-and-Guff.  Rhetorical 
embellishment ;  High-falutin'  (q.v.). 

Flue.  1.  The  Recorder  of  London 
or  any  large  town.  2.  The  filth,  part 
fluff,  part  hair,  part  dust,  which 
collects  under  ill-kept  beds,  and  at 
the  junctures  of  sofas  and  chairs : 

see  Beggar's  Velvet.  3.  A  contrac- 
tion of  influenza.  As  verb,  to  put 
in  pawn.  In  (or  up)  the  flue,  pawned. 
Up  the  flue  (or  spout),  dead  ;  collapsed, 
mentally  or  physically.  To  be  up 
one's  flue,  to  be  awkward  for  one. 
That's  up  your  flue,  that's  a  facer,  or 
that's  up  against  you. 

Flue-Faker  (or  Scraper).  A 
chimney-sweep  :  see  Clergyman. 

Fluff  (or  Fluffings).  1.  Short 
change  given  by  booking-clerks.  The 
practice  is  known  as  Fluffing :  see 
Menavelings :  Fr.,  des  fruges  ( =  more  or 
less  unlawful  profits  of  any  sort).  As 
verb,  to  give  short  change.  2.  Lines 
half  learned  and  imperfectly  deli vered. 
Hence,  To  do  a  fluff,  to  forget  one's 
part :  also  as  verb,  to  disconcert,  to 
floor  (q.v.).  Fluff  it  !  an  interjection 
of  disapproval :  Be  off !  Take  it 
away  ! 

F  1  u  ff  e  r.  1.  A  drunkard  :  see 
Lushington.  2.  A  player  '  rocky  on 
his  lines  '  ;  i.e.  given  to  forgetting  his 
part.  3.  A  term  of  contempt. 

Fluffiness.  1.  Drunkenness  :  see 
Fluffy  and  Fluffer.  2.  The  trick,  or 
habit,  of  forgetting  words. 

Fluffy.  Unsteady,  of  uncertain 

Fluke.  In  billiards,  an  accidental 
winning  hazard  ;  in  all  games  a  result 
not  played  for;  a  Crow  (q.v.).  In 
yachting,  an  effect  of  chance  ;  a  result 
in  which  seamanship  has  had  no  part. 
Hence,  a  stroke  of  luck.  As  verb,  (1) 
to  effect  by  accident.  (2)  To  shirk. 
To  cut  flukes  out,  to  mutiny,  turn 
sulky  and  disobedient.  To  turn 
flukes,  to  go  to  bed  ;  i.e.  to  Bunk  (q.v.), 
or  turn  in. 

Fluky  (or  Flukey).  Of  the 
nature  of  a  Fluke  (q.v.) ;  i.e.  achieved 
more  by  good  luck  than  good  guid- 
ance. Hence  Flukiness,  abounding  in 

Flummadiddle.  1.  Nonsense, 
Flummery  (q.v.).  2.  A  sea-dainty. 

Flummergasted.  Astonished,  con- 
founded. A  variant  of  Flabber- 
gasted (q.v.). 

Flummery.  1.  Nonsense,  Gammon 
(q.v.),  flattery  (Grose).  2.  A  kind  of 
bread  pudding  (Nordhoff).  3.  Oat- 
meal and  water  boiled  to  a  jelly 

Flummox  (Flummocks,  or  Flum- 
mux).     1.  To  perplex,  dodge,  abash, 
silence,    victimize,    Best   (q.v.),    dis- 



appoint.  AlsoConflummox.  To  flum- 
mox (or  conflummox)  by  the  lip,  to  out- 
slang  (q.v.),  talk  down;  to  flummox 
the  coppers,  to  dodge  the  police ;  to 
flummox  the  old  Dutch,  to  cheat  one's 
wife,  etc.  2.  To  confuse,  Queer  (q.v.). 
3.  Used  in  the  passive  sense,  to  abandon 
a  purpose,  give  in,  die.  As  subs.,  a 
bad  recitation,  failure.  Flummoxed, 
spoilt,  ruined,  drunk,  Sent  down 
(q.v.),  Boshed  (q.v.),  defeated,  dis- 
appointed, silenced,  Floored  (q.v.). 

Flummocky.  Out  of  place,  in  bad 

Flummut.  A  month  in  prison :  see 

Flump.  To  fall,  put,  or  be  set  down 
with  violence  or  a  thumping  noise: 
onomatopoeic.  Also  to  come  down 
with  a  flump  (1840). 

Flunk.  1.  An  idler,  Loafer  (q.v.), 
Lawrence  (q.v.).  2.  A  failure,  especi- 
ally (at  college)  in  recitations ;  a 
backing  out  of  undertakings :  also 
Flunk-out.  As  verb,  to  retire  through 
fear,  fail  (as  in  a  lesson),  cause  to  fail. 
Flunkey.  1.  A  ship's  steward.  2. 
An  ignorant  dabbler  in  stock,  inexperi- 
enced jobber.  3.  One  that  makes  a 
complete  failure  in  a  recitation  ;  one 
who  Flunks  (q.v.).  4.  A  man-serv- 
ant, especially  one  in  livery.  Hence, 
by  implication,  a  parasite  or  Toady 
(q.v.):  FT.,  larbin  (1848).  Whence, 
Flunkeyism,  blind  worship  of  rank, 
birth,  or  riches  :  Fr..  larbinerie. 

Flurry.  To  flurry  one's  milk, 
to  be  worried,  angry,  or  upset :  see  To 
fret  one's  kidneys  (q.v.) ;  To  tear  one's 
shirt  (or  one's  hair),  (q.v.). 

Flunyment.  Agitation,  bustle,  con- 
fusion, nervous  excitement. 

Flush.  A  hand  of  one  suit.  As  adj., 
(1)  with  plenty  of  money,  the  reverse 
of  Hard-up  (q.v.) ;  Warm  (q.v.).  Also 
abounding  in  anything :  e.g.  Flush  of 
his  patter,  full  of  his  talk ;  flush  of 
the  lotion,  liberal  with  the  drink ; 
flush  of  his  notions,  prodigal  of  ideas  ; 
flush  of  her  charms,  lavish  of  her  person ; 
and  so  forth  (1603).  (2)  Intoxicated 
(i.e.  full  to  the  brim) ;  also  Flushed  : 
see  Screwed.  (3)  Level:  e.g.  Flush 
with  the  top,  with  the  water,  with  the 
road,  with  the  boat's  edge,  etc.  As 
verb,  ( 1 )  to  whip.  English  synonyms : 
to  bludgeon,  to  bumbaste,  to  breech 
(Cotgrave),  to  brush,  to  club,  to  curry, 
to  dress  with  an  oaken  towel,  to  drub, 
to  dry-beat,  to  dry-bob,  to  drum,  to 

fib,  to  flap,  to  flick,  to  flop,  to  jerk,  to 
give  one  ballast,  to  hide,  to  lamin,  to 
larrup,  to  paste,  to  punch,  to  rub 
down,  to  swinge,  to  swish,  to  switch, 
to  trounce,  to  thump,  to  tund  (Win- 
chester), to  wallop.  (2)  To  clean  by 
filling  full,  and  emptying,  of  water : 
e.g.  to  flush  a  sewer  ;  to  wash,  swill,  or 
sluice  away.  Also,  to  fill  with  water : 
e.g.  to  flush  a  lock.  (3)  To  start  or 
raise  a  bird  from  covert :  e.g.  to  flush 
a  snipe,  or  a  covey  of  partridges.  To 
come  flush  on  one,  to  come  suddenly 
and  unexpectedly  (Marvell) ;  to  over- 
whelm (as  by  a  sudden  rush  of  water). 
Flushed  on  the  horse,  privately  whip- 
ped in  gaol. 

Flush-hit.  A  clean  blow,  a  hit 
full  on  the  mark  and  straight  from 
the  shoulder.  As  adj.,  full,  straight, 
Right  on  (q.v.). 

Fluster.  To  excite,  confuse,  abash, 
Flummox  (q.v.),  upset,  or  be  upset, 
with  drink  (1602). 

Flustered  (or  Flustrated). 
Excited  by  drink,  circumstances, 
another  person's  impudence,  etc.; 
also  mildly  drunk :  cf.  Flusticatod 
and  see  Screwed  (1686). 

Flusticated  (or  Flustrated).  Con- 
fused, in  a  state  of  heat  or  excite- 
ment:  cf.  Flustered  (1712). 

Flustration.        Heat,     excitement, 
bustle,  confusion,  Flurry  (q.v.)  (1771). 
Flute.     The  recorder  of  a  corpora- 
tion (1598). 

Flutter.  1.  An  attempt  or  Shy  (q.v. ) 
at  anything,  a  venture  in  earnest,  a 
spree,  a  state  of  expectancy  (as  in 
betting) :  hence  gambling.  2.  The 
act  of  spinning  a  coin.  As  verb,  ( 1 )  to 
spin  a  coin  (for  drinks) ;  also  to  gamble. 
(2)  To  go  in  for  a  bout  of  pleasure. 
To  flutter  the  ribbons,  to  drive.  Flutter, 
if  not  a  word  of  all-work,  is  a  word 
with  plenty  to  do.  Thus,  to  have  (or 
do)  a  flutter,  to  have  a  look  in  (q.v.),  to 
go  on  the  spree  ;  to  be  on  the  flutter,  to 
be  on  the  spree ;  to  flutter  a  Judy,  to 
pursue  a  girl ;  to  flutter  a  brown,  to  spin 
a  coin  ;  to  flutter  (or  fret)  one's  kidneys, 
to  agitate,  to  exasperate  ;  to  flutter  a 
skirt,  to  walk  the  streets ;  and  so  forth.] 
Flux.  1.  To  cheat,  cozen,  over- 
reach. 2.  To  salivate  (Grose). 

Fly.  A  familiar ;  hence,  by  im- 
plication, a  parasite  or  Sucker  (q.v.). 
[In  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth 
centuries  it  was  held  that  familiar 
spirits,  in  the  guise  of  flies,  lice,  fleas, 




etc.,  attended  witches,  who  for  a 
price  professed  to  dispose  of  the 
Power  for  evil  thus  imparted.]  2.  A 
printer's  devil ;  specifically  a  boy  who 
lifted  the  printed  sheets  from  the 
press.  [Now  the  vibrating  frame 
used  for  the  same  purpose.]  (1688). 
3.  A  customer.  4.  The  act  of  spinning 
a  coin :  cf.  Flutter.  5.  A  public 
waggon :  afterwards  (colloquial)  a  four- 
wheel  hackney  coach :  Fr.,  mouche 
(fly)=a  public  boat  on  the  Seine.  6. 
A  policeman.  As  adj.,  (1)  knowing, 
Artful  (q.v.),  up  to  every  move,  cute. 
Also  fly  to,  a-fly,  fly  to  the  game,  and 
fly  to  what's  what :  cf.  Awake,  and, 
see  Knowing.  (2)  Dextrous.  As  verb, 
( 1 )  To  toss,  raise ;  to  fly  the  mags,  to  toss 
up  halfpence.  (2)  To  give  way  :  as, 
china  flies  in  the  baking.  To  fly  around, 
to  bestir  oneself,  make  haste.  Also  to 
fly  around  and  tear  one's  shirt.  To  fly 
the  flag,  to  walk  the  streets.  See  also 
Flag.  To  fly  high  (or  rather  high),  (1) 
to  get,  or  be  drunk  :  see  Screwed.  (2) 
To  keep  the  best  company,  maintain 
the  best  appearances,  and  affect  the 
best  aims :  i.e.  to  be  a  High-flier 
( q. v. ).  Also,  to  venture  for  the  biggest 
stakes  in  the  biggest  way.  To  fly 
low,  to  make  as  little  of  oneself  as 
possible ;  to  sing  small  (q.v.) ;  and 
(among  thieves)  to  keep  out  of  the 
way  when  Wanted  (q.v.).  To  fly  off 
the  handle,  to  lose  temper,  fail  of  a 
promise,  jilt,  die ;  also  to  slip  off  the 
Handle  (q.v.);  to  disappoint  in  any 
way.  [In  pioneer  life  for  an  axe  to 
part  company  with  its  handle  is  a 
serious  trial  to  temper  and  patience.] 
To  fly  out,  to  get  angry,  scold  (1612). 
To  make  the  fur  (or  feathers)  fly,  to 
attack  effectively,  make  a  disturbance, 
quarrel  noisily  like  two  torn  cats  on  the 
tiles,  who  are  said  (in  American)  to  pull 
fur,  or  to  pull  wool.  To  take  on  the 
fly,  to  beg  in  the  streets  ;  a  specific 
usage  of  adverbial  sense.  To  fly  a 
kite,  to  raise  money  by  means  of 
accommodation  bills,  raise  the  Wind 
(q.v.).  (3)  To  go  out  by  the  window. 
(4)  To  evacuate  from  a  window.  (5) 
To  attempt,  set  one's  cap  at.  To  fly 
the  blue  pigeon,  to  steal  lead  from 
roofs :  see  Blue-pigeon.  Fr.,  faire 
la  mastar  au  gras-double  (or  la  faire 
au  mastar)  (Grose).  To  let  fly,  to 
hit  out :  from  cock-fighting.  Not  a 
feather  to  fly  with,  penniless,  ruined, 
Dead-broke  (q.v.).  To  break  a  fly 

on  a  wheel,  to  make  a  mountain  of  a 
molehill :  cf.  To  crack  a  nut  with  a 
Nasmyth  hammer,  to  lavish  force  or 
energy.  The  fly  on  the  wheel,  one 
who  fancies  himself  of  mighty  im- 
portance. [From  the  fable.]  /  don't 
rise  to  that  fly,  I  don't  believe  you  ; 
you  won't  catch  me  with  such  bait  as 
that.  Off  the  fly,  on  the  quiet,  laid 
up  in  dock,  doing  nothing.  On  the  fly, 
(1)  walking  the  streets,  out  for  a  Lark 
(q.v.),  Off  work  (q.v.),  out  on  the 
spree  (q.v.).  (2)  In  motion :  e.g.  I 
got  in  one  on  the  fly,  I  landed  a  blow 
while  I  was  running. 

Fly-blow.  A  bastard ;  cf.  Bye- 

Fly-blown.  1.  Intoxicated :  see 
Screwed.  2.  Cleaned-out,  without  a 
rap,  Hard-up.  3.  Used,  done-up, 
Washed-out  (q.v.).  4.  Deflowered, 
known  for  a  wanton,  suspected  of 

Fly  -  by  -  night.  1.  A  sedan  chair 
on  wheels ;  a  usage  of  the  Regency 
days.  2.  A  defaulting  debtor,  one 
who  shoots  the  moon  (q.v.).  3.  A 
prostitute.  4.  A  noctambulist  for 
business  or  for  pleasure :  i.e.  a 
burglar  or  a  common  spreester  (q.v.). 
5.  A  term  of  opprobrium,  spec,  'an 
old  woman,  signifying  that  she  was  a 
witch,  and  alluding  to  the  nocturnal 
excursions  attributed  to  witches  who 
were  supposed  to  fly  abroad  to  their 
meetings  mounted  on  brooms '  (Grose). 

Fly  -  catcher.  An  open-mouthed 
ignoramus,  a  Gape-seed  (q.v.) :  Fr., 

Flycop.  A  sharp  officer  ;  one  well 
broken  in  to  the  tricks  of  trade. 

Fly-disperser  Soup.     Oxtail. 

Flyer.  1.  See  Flier  in  all  senses. 
2.  A  shoe  :  see  Trotter-case.  3.  (Win- 
chester). A  half-volley  at  football, 
A  made-flyer  is  when  the  bound  of 
the  ball  is  gained  from  a  previous 
kick,  by  the  same  side,  against  canvas 
or  any  other  obstacle,  or  is  dropped, 
as  in  a  drop  -  kick.  This  is  now 
confused  with  a  kick-up. 

Fly-flapped.  Whipped  in  the  stocks, 
or  at  the  cart's  tail  (Grose). 

Fly  -  flapper.      A  heavy  bludgeon. 

Fly-flat.  A  would-be  connoisseur 
and  authority. 

Flying.  To  look  a#  if  the  Devil 
had  spued  on  him  (or  her)  flying,  said 
in  derision  of  one  odd -looking,  filthy, 
or  deformed. 




Flying-angel.     See  Angel. 

Flying  Bricklayers.  The  mounted 
Royal  Engineers. 

Flying  -  camps.  Couples  or  gangs 
of  beggars. 

Flying  -  caper.  An  escape  from 
prison,  Leg-bail  (q.v.). 

Flying-cat    See  Cat 

Flying-country.  A  country  where 
the  Going  (q.v.)  is  fast  and  good. 

Flying  -  cove.  An  impostor  who 
gets,  or  tries  to  get,  money  from 
persons  who  hare  been  robbed  by 
pretending  to  give  such  information 
as  will  lead  to  recovery.  Formerly, 
Flying-porter  (Grose). 

Flying-dustman.     See  Stiff-'un. 

Flying  -  Dutchman.  The  London 
and  Exeter  express  (G.W.R.).  See 
also  Flying  Scotsman  and  Wild 

Flying  horse  (or  mare).  The 
throw  by  which  an  opponent  is  sent 
over  the  head.  Introduced,  says 
Bee,  by  Parkins  (1754). 

Flying  -  jigger  (or  gygger).  A 
turnpike  gate. 

Flying  -  man.  A  skirmisher  good 
at  taking,  and  running  with,  the  ball. 

Flying  -  mare.     See  Flying-horse. 

Flying-pasty.  Excrement 
wrapped  in  paper  and  thrown  over  a 
neighbour's  wall  (Grose). 

Flying-porter.     See  Flying-cove. 

Flying-stationer.  A  hawker 
of  street  ballads,  Paperworker  (q.v.), 
or  Running  patterer  (q.v.).  '  Printed 
for  the  Flying-stationer '  is  the  im- 
primatur on  hundreds  of  broadsheets 
from  the  last  century  onwards  (Grose). 

Fly  my.  Knowing,  Fast  (q.v.), 
roguish,  sprightly. 

Fly-my-kite  (rhyming).      A  light 

Flymy-mess.  To  be  in  a  fiymy-mess, 
to  be  hungry  and  have  nothing  to  eat. 

Fly  -  slicer.  A  cavalry-man  :  see 
Mudcrusher.  French  lancers  are  allum- 
curs  de  gaz,  their  weapons  being 
likened  to  a  lamplighter's  rod. 

Fly-the-garter.      Leap  frog. 

Fly-trap.  The  mouth :  see 

Foaled.  Thrown  from  a  horse  : 
Fr.,  faire  parache. 

Fob  (or  Fub).  1.  A  cheat,  trick, 
swindle.  To  come  the  fob,  to  impose 
upon,  swindle:  cf.  Come  over  (1690). 
2.  A  breeches  pocket,  watch  pocket 
(1678).  3.  A  watch-chain  or  ribbon, 
with  buckle  and  seals,  worn  hanging 

from  the  fob.  As  verb,  (1)  to  rob, 
cheat  pocket :  also  to  fob  off  (1700). 
(2)  To  deceive,  trifle  with,  disappoint, 
put  off  dishonestly  or  unfairly  (1598). 
To  gut  a  fob,  to  pick  pockets. 

F  o  b  u  s.  An  opprobrious  epithet 

Fodder.  Paper  for  the  closet, 
Bum-fodder  (q.v.). 

F  ce  t  u  s.  To  tap  the  foetus,  to 
procure  abortion. 

Fog.  Smoke  (Grose).  In  a  fog, 
in  a  condition  of  perplexity,  doubt, 
difficulty,  or  mystification  :  as,|  I'm 
quite  in  a  fog  as  to  what  you  mean. 
As  verb,  ( 1 )  to  smoke.  (2)  To  mystify, 
perplex,  obscure. 

Fogey  (Fogy,  Fogay,  or  Foggi). 
An  invalid  or  garrison  soldier  or  sailor. 
Whence  the  present  colloquial  usages : 
( 1 )  a  person  advanced  in  life,  and  (2) 
an  old-fashioned  or  eccentric  person  ; 
generally  Old  fogey.  So  also  Fogey- 
ish,  old-fashioned,  eccentric.  Fogey- 
dom,  the  state  of  fogeyishness ;  and 
fogeyism,  a  characteristic  of  fogeydom. 

F  o  g  g  a  g  e.  Fodder,  especially 
green-meat  (Grose). 

Fogged.  1.  Drunk :  see  Screwed. 
2.  Perplexed,  bewildered,  at  a  loss. 

Fogger.  1.  A  huckster,  a  cringing, 
whining  beggar,  a  pettifogger.  2.  A 
farm-servant  whose  duty  is  to  feed 
the  cattle;  i.e.  to  supply  them  with 
Foggage  (q.v.). 

Foggy.  1.  Drunk,  clinched, 
Hazy  (q.v.) :  see  Screwed.  2.  Dull, 
fatwitted,  Thick  (q.v.). 

Fogle.  A  silk  handkerchief ;  also 
generic.  [Cf.  Ital.,  foglia,  a  pocket 
a  purse  :  Fr.,  fouittt,  a  pocket].  A 
cotton  handkerchief  is  called  a  clout 
English  synonyms :  bandanna,  belcher, 
billy,  clout,  conch-clout  fam-cloth, 
flag,  kent-rag,  madam,  muckender, 
mucketer  (Florio) ;  nose-wipe,  pen- 
wiper, rag,  sneezer,  snot-tmger  or 
snot-rag,  stock,  wipe :  see  Billy. 

Fogle  -  hunter.  A  thief  whose 
speciality  is  Fogies  (q.v.) :  Fr.,  blavin- 
iste  or  chiffonier :  see  Stookhauler 

Fpgle-hunting  (or  drawing). 
Stealing  pocket-handkerchiefs ;  i.e. 
prigging  of  wipes. 

Fogram  (or  Fogrum).  A  fussy 
old  man  :  see  Fogey.  As  adj.,  fogey- 
ish,  stupid  (1777).  Hence  Fogram- 
ity,  (1)  Fogeyism  (q.v.),  and  (2)  the 
state  of  Fogeyishness. 




Fogue.     Fierce,  fiery. 

Fogus.     Tobacco  (1671). 

Foiler.     A  thief  (1669). 

Foist  (Foyst,  or  Fyst).  1.  A  cheat, 
swindler,  sharper  (1592).  2.  A  trick, 
swindle,  imposture  :  also  Foyster  and 
Foister  (1605).  As  verb,  to  trick, 
swindle,  pick  pockets  (1607). 

Foister  (or  Foyster).  A  pick- 
pocket, a  cheat  (1598). 

Follower.  A  maid-servant's 
sweetheart,  a  beau  :  see  Jomer. 

Follow-me-lads.  Curls  or  ribands 
hanging  over  the  shoulder:  Fr.,  suivez- 
moi-jeune-homme :  also  Followers. 

Follow-on.  A  team  eighty  runs 
behind  the  other  in  the  first  innings 
is  obliged  to  follow  on  ;  i.e.  to  take  to 
the  wickets  a  second  time.  A  run 
more,  and  it  saves  the  follow  on. 

Follow  your  nose!  A  retort  on 
asking  the  way.  The  full  phrase  is, 
Follow  your  nose  and  you  are  sure 
to  go  straight  (1620). 

Foo-foo.  A  person  of  no  account 
an  insignificant  idiot,  a  Poop  (q.v.). 

Fool.  A  dish  of  gooseberries, 
boiled  with  sugar  and  milk  :  also  Gull 
(q.v.)  (1720).  No  fool,  a  phrase 
laudatory.  To  make  a  fool  of,  to 
delude  :  specifically  to  cuckold,  or  to 
seduce  under  promise  of  marriage.  To 
fool  about  (or  around),  to  dawdle,  trifle 
with,  be  infatuated  with,  hang  about, 

Fool-finder.  A  bum-bailiff 

Fool -monger.  A  person,  male 
or  female,  living  by  their  wits,  e.g. 
a  Promoter  (q.v.),  a  betting-man, 
a  swindler  :  also  Fool  -  catcher  and 
Fool-trap  (q.v.). 

Foolometer.  A  standard,  positive 
or  neuter,  whereby  to  gauge  the 
public  taste. 

Fool's  Father.  The  pantaloon  or 
Old  'un  (q.v.). 

Fool's-wedding.  A  party  of 
women  :  see  Hen  party. 

Fool -trap.  A  Fool-monger. 
F  o  o  n  t.  A  sovereign :  see  Rhino. 
[Probably  a  corruption  of  Ger.,  Pfund.~\ 
Foot.  1.  To  acknowledge  pay- 
ment ;  e.g.  To  foot  a  bill.  2.  To 
kick,  to  Hoof  (q.v.) :  cf.  '  Merchant  of 
Venice,'  i.  iii.  'You,  that  did  void  your 
rheum  upon  my  beard,  And  foot  me, 
as  you  spurn  a  stranger  cur.'  To  foot 
it,  to  walk,  to  dance  :  see  Pad  the 
Hoof.  To  foot-up,  to  sum  up  the 

total  (of  a  bill);  to  Tot  up  (q.v.). 
Hence,  to  pay,  discharge  one's  obliga- 
tions, Reckon  up  (q.v.) ;  to  summarize 
both  merits  and  defects,  and  strike  a 
balance.  Footing-up,  the  reckoning, 
the  sum  total :  Fr.,  gomberger.  To 
put  one's  best  foot  (or  leg)  foremost,  to 
use  all  possible  despatch,  exert  one- 
self to  the  utmost  (1596).  To  put 
one's  foot  into  anything, ,io  make  a  mess 
of  it,  get  into  a  scrape.  The  bishop 
(i.e.  the  Devil)  has  put  his  foot  in  it 
(Old  English  proverb)  is  said  of  burned 
porridge  or  over-roasted  meat  (Orose) : 
Fr.,  faire  une  gaffe.  To  have  one  foot 
(or  leg)  in  the  grave,  on  one's  last  legs, 
measured  for  a  funeral  sermon  :  also 
as  adj.  (1825).  To  pull  foot,  to  make 
haste  :  also  To  take  one's  foot  in  one's 
hand,  and  To  make  tracks.  To  take 
Mr.  Foot's  horse,  to  walk,  Go  by 
Shank's  mare  (q.v.) :  see  Pad  the 
hoof.  To  know  the  length  of  one's 
foot,  to  be  well  acquainted  with  one's 
character  (1581). 

Footer  (Harrow).  1.  Short  for 
football.  2.  A  player  of  football 
according  to  Rugby  rules. 

Foot-hot.  In  hot  haste,  Hot-foot 

Footing.  Money  paid  on  entering 
upon  new  duties,  or  on  being  received 
into  a  workshop  or  society  :  as  at  sea 
when  a  comrade  first  goes  aloft. 
Formerly  Foot-ale :  Fr.,  arroser  set 
galons,  to  christen  one's  uniform 

Footle.  To  dawdle,  trifle,  potter, 
Mess  about  (q.v.). 

Footlicker.  A  servant,  a  lickspittle 

Footlights.  To  smett  the  footlights, 
to  acquire  a  taste  for  theatricals.  To 
smett  of  the  footlights,  to  carry  thea- 
trical concerns  and  phraseology  into 
private  life,  to  Talk  shop  (q.v.). 

Footman's  Inn.  A  poor  lodging, 
a  jail :  Fr.,  H6tel  de  la  modestie  :  the 
Poor  Man's  Arms  (1608). 

Footman' s-maund.  An  artificial 
sore,  as  from  a  horse's  bite  or  kick  : 
the  Fox's  bite  of  schoolboys.  Also 
Scaldrum  dodge,  or  Maund  (q.v.). 

Foot-riding.  Walking  and 
wheeling  one's  machine  instead  of 
riding  it. 

Foot-scamp.     A  footpad  (Parker). 

Footstool.     See  Angel's  footstool. 

Foot-wobbler.  An  infantry-man : 
see  Mudcrusher. 



F  o  o  t  y.  Contemptible,  worth- 
less :  Fr.,  joutu  (Grose). 

Foozle.  1.  A  boggle,  a  miss.  2. 
A  bore,  a  fogey ;  and  (in  America)  a 
fool,  a  green  'un :  see  Buffie.  As  verb, 
to  miss,  boggle,  Muff  (q.v.).  Foozled 
(or  Foozley),  blurred  in  appearance 
and  effect,  fuzzy,  Muffed  (q.v. ).  Often 
said  of  badly  painted  pictures,  or  parts 
of  pictures. 

Fop-doodle.  An  insignificant  man, 
a  fool  (1689). 

Fop's  Alley.  The  gangway  run- 
ning parallel  to  the  footlights,  between 
the  last  row  of  the  stalls  and  the 
first  row  of  the  pit  in  Her  Majesty's 
Theatre,  and  in  its  palmiest  days  it 
was  always  graced  by  the  presence  of  a 
subaltern  of  the  Guards  in  full  uniform, 
daintily  swinging  his  bearskin. 

Forakers  (Winchester  Col- 
lege). The  water-closet :  see  Mrs. 
Jones.  [Formerly  spelt  foricu*  and 
probably  a  corruption  of  foricaa,  an 
English  plural  of  the  Latin  /on'ca.] 

Force  (The).  The  police.  To 
force  the  voucher,  it  is  customary  for 
sporting  tricksters  to  advertise  selec- 
tions and  enclose  vouchers  (similar  to 
those  sent  out  by  respectable  com- 
mission agents)  for  double  or  treble 
the  current  odds.  The  correspondent 
is  informed  that,  in  consequence  of 
early  investments,  the  extra  odds  can 
be  laid  ;  a  remittance  is  requested ; 
the  voucher  is  forced  ;  and  then  the 
firm  dries  up,  and  changes  its  name 
and  address. 

Forcemeat  -  ball.  Something  en- 
dured from  compulsion :  as  ( 1)  a  rape  : 
(2)  going  to  prison ;  (3)  transporta- 
tion ;  (4)  an  affiliation  order ;  (5)  ab- 
stention (from  drink,  pleasure,  etc.) 
through  impecuniosity. 

Forceps.  The  hands :  see 

Fore-and-after.  Anybody  or  any- 
thing good  all  round. 

Fore  -  buttocks.  The  paps  :  see 

Fore-coach-wheel.  A  half- 
crown  :  see  Caroon. 

Forefoot.    The  hand  (1598). 

Foreman  of  the  jury.  A  babbler  ; 
one  with  the  Gift  of  the  gab  (q.v.) 

Fore-stall.  In  garotting,  a  look- 
out in  front  of  the  operator,  or  Ugly- 
man  (q.v.) ;  the  watch  behind  is  the 
Back-stall  (q.v.) :  see  Stale. 

Fork.  1.  A  pickpocket:  Fr., 
Avoir  let  main*  crochuu,  to  be  a  light- 
fingered  or  lime  -  fingered  filcher  ; 
every  finger  of  his  hand  as  good  as 
a  lime-twig  (Cotgrave).  2.  A  finger. 
The  fork*,  the  fore  and  middle  fingers  ; 
cf.  (proverbial)  Fingers  were  made 
before  forks.  English  synonyms  : 
claws,  fish-hooks  (Oro*e),  daddies, 
(also  the  hands),  divers,  feelers,  fives, 
flappers,  grapplers,  grappling  irons, 
gropers,  hooks,  nail-bearers,  pickers 
and  stealers  (Shakespeare),  corn-steal  - 
era,  Ten  Commandments,  ticklers, 
pinkies,  muck  -  forks.  3.  The  hands. 

4.  A  gibbet  ;  in  the  plural,  the  gallows. 

5.  A  spendthrift.    6.  The  Crutch  (q.v.  ), 
or  Twist  (q.v.)  :  Fr.,  Fourcheure,  that 
part  of  the  bodie  from  whence  the 
thighs   depart   (Cotgrave).     As   verb, 
to     steal  ;      specifically    to    pick    a 
pocket  by  inserting  the  middle   and 
forefinger  :   also  To   put  one's  forks 
down  :   Fr.,   vol  rt  la  fourchette.     To 
fork  out  (or  over  —  sometimes  to  fork), 
to  hand  over,  pay,  to  shell  out  (q.v.). 
To  fork  on,  to  appropriate  :  cf.  Freeze 
on  to.    To  pitch  the  fork,  to  tell  a  piti- 
ful tale.     To  eat  vinegar  with  a  fork,  a 
person  either  over  -shrewd   or   over- 
snappish  is  said  to  have  eaten  vinegar 
with    a    fork  :    Fr.,    avoir   mange   de 

F  o  r  k  e  r.  A  dockyard  thief  or 
Fence  (q.v.). 

Forking.  1.  Thieving.  2. 
Hurrying  and  Scamping  (q.v.). 

Forkless.  Clumsy,  unworkman- 
like, as  without  Forks  (q.v.)  (1821). 

Foreloper.     A  teamster  guide. 

Forlorn-Hope.   A  last  stake  (Oro*e). 

Form.  1.  Condition,  training, 
fitness  for  a  contest.  In  (or  out  of) 
form,  in  or  out  of  condition,  i.e.  fit  or 
unfit  for  work.  Better  (or  top)  form, 
etc.  (in  comparison)  :  cf.  Colour.  2. 
Behaviour  (with  a  moral  significance  : 
as  good  form,  bad  form,  agreeable  to 
good  manners,  breeding,  principles, 
taste,  etc.,  or  the  opposite).  This 
usage,  popularised  in  racing  circles,  is 
good  literary  English,  though  the 
word  is  commonly  printed  in  inverted 
commas  ('  ')  :  Shakespeare  ('  Two 
Gentlemen  of  Verona,'  4),  says,  '  Can 
no  way  change  you  to  a  milder  form,' 
i.e.  manner  of  behaviour.  3.  Habit, 
Game  (q.v.)  :  e.g.  That's  my  form, 
That's  what  Fm  in  the  way  of  doing  ; 
or  That's  the  sort  of  man  I  am. 



Four  Seams. 

Forney.  A  ring ;  a  variant  of 
Fawney  (q.v.). 

Fortune-biter.    A  sharper  (1719). 

Fortune  -  teller.  A  magistrate 

Forty.  To  talk  forty  (more  com- 
monly nineteen)  to  the  dozen,  to  chatter 
incessantly,  gabble.  To  walk  off 
forty  to  the  dozen,  to  decamp  in  quick 
time.  Roaring  forties,  the  Atlantic 
between  the  fortieth  and  fiftieth 
degrees  of  latitude  ;  also  applied  to  the 
same  region  in  southern  latitudes. 

Forty -faced.  An  arrant  deceiver  : 
e.g.  a  forty-faced  liar,  a  forty-faced 
flirt,  and  so  forth. 

Forty-five.  A  revolver :  see 
Meat  in  the  pot. 

Forty-foot  (or  Forty-guts).  A  fat, 
dumpy  man,  or  woman :  in  contempt. 
English  synonyms :  All  arse  and  no 
body,  arse-and-corporation,  all-belly 
(Cotgrave) ;  all  guts  (idem),  bacon- 
belly,  barrel-belly,'belly-god,  bladder- 
figured,  bosse-belly,  Bosse  of  Billings- 
gate (Florio,  a  fat  woman),  chuff 
(Shakespeare),  Christmas  beef,  double- 
guts,  double-tripe,  fat-cock,  fat-guts 
(Shakespeare  and  Cotgrave),  fatico, 
fattymus  or  fattyma,  fubsy,  fat  Jack 
of  the  bonehouse,  fat-lips,  flander- 
kin,  fustiluggs  (Burton),  fussock,  gor- 
belly,  grampus,  gotch-guts,  grand-guts 
(Florio),  gulche  (Florio),  gullyguts, 
gundigutts,  guts,  guts-and-stomach, 
guts-and-garbage,  guts-to-sell,  hoddy- 
doddy,  dumpty-dumpty,  hogshead, 
hopper-arse,  Jack  Weight,  loppers, 
lummox,  paunch,  pod,  porpoise,  pot- 
guts,  princod,  pudding-belly,  puff- 
guts,  ribs,  slush-bucket,  sow  (a  fat 
woman),  spud,  squab,  studgy-guts, 
tallow-guts,  tallow-merchant,  thick- 
in  -  the  -  middle,  tripes,  tripes  and 
trullibubs,  tubs,  waist,  water-butt, 
walking-ninepin,  whopper. 

Forty-jawed.  Excessively 

Forty -lunged.  Stentorian  ;  given 
to  shouting  ;  Leather-lunged  (q.v.). 

Forty-rod  (or  Forty-rod  Light- 
ning). Whisky,  specifically,  spirit 
so  fiery  that  it  is  calculated  to  kill 
at  Forty  Rods'  distance,  i.e.  on 
Bight:  cf.  Rotgut.  Cf.  Florio  (1598), 
Catoblepa,  '  a  serpent  in  India  so 
venomous  that  with  his  looke  he  kils 
a  man  a  mile  off.'] 

Forty  -  twa.  A  common  jakes, 
or  Bogshop  (q.v.) :  in  Edinburgh,  So 

called  from  its  accommodating  that 
number  of  persons  at  once  (Hotten). 
[Long  a  thing  of  the  past.] 

Forty  -  winks.  A  short  sleep  or 
nap  :  see  Dog's  sleep. 

Fossed.     Thrown. 

Fossick.  To  work  an  abandoned 
claim,  or  to  wash  old  dirt ;  hence  to 
search  persistently.  [Halliwell,  to 
take  trouble,  but  cf.  fosse,  a  ditch 
or  excavation.]  Also  Fossicking,  a 
living  got  as  aforesaid  ;  Fossicker,  a 
man  that  works  abandoned  claims  ; 
Fossicking  about  (American),  Shinning 
around,  or  in  England,  Ferreting  (q.v.). 

Fou  (or  Fow).  Drunk ;  variants  are 
Bitch  -  fou,  greetin'  -  fou,  piper-fou, 
roaring-fou,  fou  as  barty  (Burns), 
pissing-fou,  and  so  forth  :  see  Screwed. 
Also  (Scots),  full  of  food  or  drink. 

Foul.  A  running  into  or  down. 
As  verb,  to  run  against,  run  down ; 
also  to  come  (or  fall)  foul  of.  [Foul, 
adj.  and  verb,  is  used  in  two  senses  : 
(1),  dirty,  as  a  foul  word,  a  foul  shrew 
(Dickens),  to  foul  the  bed,  etc.  ;  and  (2) 
unfair,  as  a  foul  (i.e.  a  felon)  stroke,  a 
foul  blow,  and  so  forth.]  To  fold  a 
plate  with,  to  dine  or  sup  with  (Grose). 

Foulcher.     A  purse. 

Foul-mouthed.  Obscene  or 
blasphemous  in  speech. 

Found.  Found  in  a  parsley-bed  : 
see  Parsley-bed  and  Gooseberry-bush. 

Four  -  and  -  nine  (or  Four  -  and 
ninepenny).  A  hat.  [So  -  called 
from  the  price  at  which  an  enterpris- 
ing Bread  Street  hatter  sold  his  hats, 
circa  1844,  at  which  date  London  was 
hideous  with  posters  displaying  a 
large  black  hat  and  '  4s.  and  9d.'  in 
white  letters.] 

Four -bones.     The  knees. 

Four  -  eyes.  A  person  in  spec- 
tacles :  '  a  chap  that  can't  believe  his 
own  eyes.' 

Four  -  holed  Middlings  (Win- 
chester College).  Ordinary  walking 
shoes  :  cf.  Beeswaxers  :  obsolete. 

Four  Kings.  The  history  (or  book) 
of  the  four  kings,  a  pack  of  cards ; 
otherwise,  A  child's  best  guide  to  the 
gallows,  or  The  Devil's  picture  books  : 
Fr.,  livre  des  quatre  rois. 

Four  -  legged  burglar  -  alarm.  A 
watch  dog. 

Four  -  poster.  A  four-post  bed- 

Four  Seams  and  a  Bit  of  Soap. 
A  pair  of  trousers :  see  Kicks. 




Four  (or  Three)  Sheets  in  the 
Wind.  Drunk  ;  cf.  Half  seas  over : 
see  Screwed. 

Fourteen  Hundred  (Stock 
Exchange).  A  warning  cry  that  a 
stranger  is  in  the  House.  The  cry 
is  said  to  have  had  its  origin  in  the  fact 
that  for  a  long  while  the  number  of 
members  never  exceeded  1399 ;  and 
it  was  customary  to  hail  every  new 
comer  as  the  fourteen  hundredth. 
It  has,  in  its  primary  sense,  long  since 
lost  significance,  for  there  are  now 
nearly  three  thousand  members  of 
the  close  corporation  which  has  its 
home  in  Capet  Court. 

Fourteenth  Amendment  Persua- 
sion. Negroes.  [From  the  number 
of  the  clause  amending  the  Constitu- 
tion at  the  abolition  of  slavery.] 

Fourth  (Cambridge  University). 
A  Rear  (q.v.)  or  jakes.  [Origin  un- 
certain ;  said  to  have  been  first  used  at 
St.  John's  or  Trinity,  where  the  closets 
were  situated  in  the  Fourth  Court. 
Whatever  its  derivation,  the  term  is 
now  the  only  one  in  use  at  Cambridge, 
and  is  frequently  heard  outside  the 
University.]  The  verbal  phrase  is 
To  keep  a  fourth  (see  Keep).  On  his 
fourth,  hopelessly  drunk  :  see  Screwed. 
Fourth  Estate.  The  body  of 
journalists ;  the  Press.  [Literally 
the  Fourth  Estate  of  the  realm,  the 
other  three  being  the  Queen,  Lords, 
and  Commons.] 

Four-wheeler.  1.  A  steak.  2.  A 
four-wheeled  cab  ;  a  Growler  (q.v.). 

F  o  u  s  t  y.  Stinking  [probably  de- 
rived from  foist,  sense  3]. 

Pouter  (Foutering).  To  meddle, 
importune,  waste  time  and  tongue  ; 
the  act  of  meddling,  importunity, 
wasting  time  and  tongue :  e.g.  Don't 
come  foutering  here !  From  the 
French  :  the  sense  of  which  is  intensi- 
fied in  a  vulgarism  of  still  fuller 

Fox.  A  sword  ;  specifically,  the 
old  English  broadsword  (1598).  As 
verb,  1.  to  intoxicate.  Foxed,  drunk ; 
to  catch  a  fox,  to  be  very  drunk  ;  while 
to  play  the  fox  (Urquhart),  to  vomit, 
to  shed  your  liquor,  i.e.  to  get  rid  of  the 
beast  (1611).  2.  To  cheat,  trick, 
rob  (colloquial  at  Eton) :  see  Gammon 
(1631).  3.  To  watch  closely  :  also  to 
fox  about.  4.  To  sham.  6.  To  play 
truant.  6.  To  stain,  discolour  with 
damp ;  said  of  books  and  engravings. 

Foxed,  stained  or  discoloured.  7. 
To  criticise  a  brother  pro's  perform- 
ance. 8.  To  mend  a  boot  by  capping 
it.  To  get  a  fox  to  keep  one's  geese,  to 
entrust  one's  money,  or  one's  circum- 
stances, to  the  care  of  sharpers.  To 
make  a  fox  paw,  to  make  a  mistake  or 
a  wrong  move  ;  specifically  (of  women) 
to  be  seduced.  Fr.,  faux  pas. 

Foz's-sleep.  A  state  of  feigned  yet 
very  vigilant  indifference  to  one's 
surroundings.  [Foxes  were  supposed 
to  sleep  with  one  eye  open.] 

Foxy.  1.  Red-haired :  cf.  Car- 
roty. 2.  Cunning,  vulpine  in  char- 
acter and  look.  Once  literary. 
Jonson  (1605)  calls  his  arch-foist 
Volpone,  the  second  title  of  his  play 
being  The  Fox;  and  Florio  (1598) 
defines  Volpone  as  :  an  old  fox,  an  old 
reinard,  an  old,  crafty,  sly,  subtle, 
companion,  sneaking,  larking,  wilie 
deceiver.  3.  Repaired  with  new  toe- 
caps.  4.  A  term  applied  to  prints 
and  books  discoloured  by  damp.  5. 
Inclined  to  reddishness  (1792).  6. 
Strong-smelling  :  of  a  red-haired  man 
or  woman. 

Foy .     A  cheat,  swindle  (1615). 
Foyl-cloy.      A  pickpocket ;   a 
rogue  (B.  E.). 
Foyst.     See  Foist 
Foyster.     See  Foister. 
Fraggle.     To  rob. 
Fragment     (Winchester     College). 
A  dinner  for  six  (served  in  College  Hall, 
after  the  ordinary  dinner),  ordered  by 
a  Fellow  in  favour  of  a  particular  boy, 
who  was  at  liberty  to  invite  five  others 
to  join  him.     [Obs.  A  fragment  was 
supposed  to  consist  of  three  dishes. — 
Winchester  Ward-book  1891]. 
Framer.     A  shawl  (1859). 
Frater.      A  beggar  working   with 
a  false  petition  (1567). 

Fraud.  A  failure,  anything  or 
body  disappointing  expectation  ;  e.g. 
an  acquaintance,  a  picture,  a  book, 
a  play,  a  picture,  a  bottle  of  wine. 
Actual  dishonesty  is  not  necessarily 

Fraze.     See  Vessel. 
Freak.     A  living  curiosity :  as  the 
Siamese  Twins,  the  Two-headed  Night- 
ingale.    [Short  for  Freak  of  nature.] 
Free.      Impudent,  self-possessed. 
As   verb,   to   steal ;    cf.    Annex   and 
Convey.     Free  of  fumbler't  hall,  im- 
potent.    Free,  gratis, — for  nothing,  a 




pleonastic  vulgarism.  Free  of  the  house, 
intimate ;  privileged  to  come  and  go 
at  will.  For  the  rest,  the  commonest 
sense  of  free  is  one  of  liberality  :  e.g. 
Free  of  his  foolishness,  full  of  chaff  ; 
Free-handed,  lavish  in  giving ;  free- 
hearted, generously  disposed ;  free  of 
his  patter,  full  of  talk. 

Free-and-easy.  A  social  gathering 
where  smoke,  drink,  and  song  is  the 
order  of  the  day  :  generally  held  at  a 
public  house. 

Freebooker.  A'  pirate '  book- 
seller or  publisher  ;  a  play  on  '  free- 

Free  fight.     A  general  mellay. 
Freeholder.     1.  A  prostitute's 
lover  or  fancyman.     2.  A  man  whose 
wife  insists  on  accompanying  him  to 
a  public  house  (1696). 

Free-lance.  An  habitual  adulteress. 
Also  said  of  a  journalist  attached  to 
no  particular  paper. 

Freeman.  A  married  woman's 
lover.  Freeman  of  bucks,  a  cuckold. 

Freeman' s  Quay.  To  drink  (or  lush), 
at  freeman's  quay,  to  drink  at  another's 
expense.  [Freeman's  Quay  was  a 
celebrated  wharf  near  London  Bridge.] 
Freeze.  1.  The  act  or  state  of 
freezing,  a  frost.  2.  Hard  cider  (Grose). 
As  verb,  (1)  to  long  for  intensely 
e.g.  to  freeze  to  go  back,  said  of  the 
home-sick ;  to  freeze  for  meat.  (2) 
Hence,  to  appropriate,  steal,  stick  to. 
(3)  To  adulterate  or  Balderdash  (q.v.) 
wine  with  Freeze  (q.v.  sense  2) 
(Grose).  To  freeze  to  (or  on  to),  to  take 
a  strong  fancy  to,  cling  to,  keep  fast 
hold  of  ;  and  (of  persons)  button-hole 
or  shadow.  To  freeze  out,  to  compel 
to  withdraw  from  society  by  cold  and 
contemptuous  treatment ;  from  busi- 
ness by  competition  or  opposition ; 
from  the  market  by  depressing  prices 
or  rates  of  exchange. 

Freezer.  1.  A  tailless  Eton  jacket: 
cf.  Bum-perisher.  2.  A  very  cold 
day.  By  analogy,  a  chilling  look, 
address,  or  retort. 

French  -  elixir  (cream,  lace,  or 
article).  Brandy.  [The  custom  of 
taking  of  brandy  with  tea  and  coffee 
was  originally  French.  Whence 
French  Cream.  Laced  tea,  tea  dashed 
with  spirits].  English  synonyms :  ball- 
of-fire,  bingo,  cold  tea,  cold  nantz, 
red  ribbon. 

French  fake.  The  fashion  of 
coiling  a  rope  by  taking  it  backwards 

and  forwards  in  parallel  bands,  so  that 
it  may  run  easily. 

French-gout  (disease,  or 
fever).  Sometimes  gonorrhoea,  but 
more  generally  and  correctly  syphilis, 
the  Morbus  Gallicus  of  older  writers 

French  Leave.  To  take  French  leave, 
(1)  to  decamp  without  notice;  (2)  to 
do  anything  without  permission  ;  (3) 
to  purloin  or  steal ;  (4)  to  run  away  (as 
from  an  enemy).  [Derivation  ob- 
scure ;  French,  probably  traceable  to 
the  contempt  engendered  during  the 
wars  with  France ;  the  compliment 
is  returned  in  similar  expressions.] 

French-pigeon.  A  pheasant  killed 
by  mistake  in  the  partridge  season,  a 
Moko  or  Oriental  (q.v.). 

French  -  pig.  A  venereal  bubo ;  a 
Blue  boar  (q.v.),  or  Winchester  goose 

French-prints.  Generic  for  indecent 

French -vice.      A    euphemism    for 
all  sexual  malpractices. 
Frenchy.     A  Frenchman. 
Fresh.     1.    Said    of    an    under- 
graduate   in    his    first   term    (1803). 
2.  Slightly  intoxicated,  elevated :  see 
Screwed.      (Scots,    sober).      3.    Inex- 
perienced, but  conceited  and  presump- 
tuous ;     hence,     forward,     impudent 
(1596).     4.  Fasting  ;  opposed  to  eating 
or   drinking.     Fresh   as   paint   (as   a 
rose,  as  a  daisy,  etc.),  full  of  health, 
strength,    and   activity ;    Fit    (q.v.). 
Fresh  on  the  graft,  new  to  the  work. 
Fresh -bit.     A  beginner. 
Freshen.     To  freshen  one's  way,  to 
hurry,  quicken  one's  movements.     To 
freshen  up,   to  clean,  vamp,   revive, 

Fresher.  An  undergraduate  in  his 
first  term.  The  freshers,  that  part  of 
the  Cam  which  lies  between  the  Mill 
and  Byron's  Pool.  So  called  because 
it  is  frequented  by  Freshmen  (q.v.). 

Freshman  (or  Fresher).  A 
University  man  during  his  first  year. 
In  Dublin  University  he  is  a  junior 
freshman  during  his  first  year,  and  a 
senior  freshman  the  second  year.  At 
Oxford  the  title  lasts  for  the  first  term : 
Ger.,  Fuchs  (1596).  As  adj.,  of,  or 
pertaining  to,  a  freshman,[or  a  first  year 

Freshmanship.  Of  the  quality  or 
state  of  being  a  freshman  ( 1 605). 


Freshman's  Bible. 


Freshman's  Bible.  The  Univer- 
sity Calendar  :  cf.  Post-office  Bible. 

Freshman's  -  church.  The 
Pitt  Press  at  Cambridge.  [From  its 
ecclesiastical  architecture.] 

Freshman's  -  landmark.  King's 
College  Chapel,  Cambridge.  [From 
the  situation.] 

Freshwater -mariner  (or  seaman). 
A  beggar  shamming  sailor,  a  turnpike 
sailor  (q.v.)  (1567). 

Freshwater-soldier.  A  raw  recruit 
( 1598). 

Fret  To  fret  one's  gizzard  (guts, 
giblets,  kidneys,  cream,  etc.),  to  get 
harassed  and  worried  about  trifles, 
Tear  one's  shirt  (q.v.). 

Friar.  A  pale  spot  in  a  printed 
sheet :  FT.,  moine  (monk). 

Frib.     A  stick  :  see  Toko  (1754). 

Fribble.  A  trifler,  a  contempt- 
ible fop.  [From  the  character  in 
Carriers  Miss  in  her  Teens  (1747)]. 

Friday-face.  A  gloomy,  dejected- 
looking  man  or  woman:  Fr.,  figure  de 
carfme.  [Probably  from  Friday  being, 
ecclesiastically,  the  banyan  day  of 
the  week.]  (1592).  Whence,  Friday- 
faced,  mortified,  melancholy,  sour- 
featured  (Scott). 

Friendly- lead.  An  entertain- 
ment (as  a  sing-song)  got  up  to  assist 
a  companion  in  Trouble  (q.v.),  or  to 
raise  money  for  the  wife  and  children 
of  a  '  quodded  pal.' 

Friends-in-need.  Lace :  see 

Frigate.     A  woman. 

Frightfully.  Very.  An  expletive 
used  as  are  Awfully,  Beastly,  Bloody, 
etc.  (q.v.). 

F  r  i  g  -  p  i  g.  A  finnicking  trifler 

Frillery.  Feminine  under- 
clothing :  see  Snowy. 

Frills.  Swagger,  conceit ;  also 
accomplishments  (as  music,  languages, 
etc.),  and  culture.  To  put  on  one's 
frills,  to  exaggerate,  chant  the  poker, 
swagger,  put  on  side  (q.v.) ;  sing  it 
(q.v.):  Fr.,  se  gonfler  le  jabot,  and 
faire  son  lard. 

Print.  A  pawnbroker :  see 

Frisco.     Short  for  San  Francisco. 

Frisk.  1.  A  frolic,  outinp.  Lark 
(q.v.),  mischief  generally  (1697).  2. 
A  dance  (1719).  As  verb  (thieves'), 
(1)  to  search,  run  the  rule  over  (q.v.). 
Especially  applied  to  the  search  made, 

after  arrest,  for  evidence  of  char- 
acter, antecedents,  or  identity.  Hence, 
careful  examination  of  any  kind 
(1781).  2.  To  pick  pockets,  rob. 
To  frisk  a  cly,  to  empty  a  pocket.  To 
dance  the  Paddington  frisk,  to  dance 
on  nothing ;  i.e.  to  be  hanged :  see 
Ladder.  [Tyburn  Tree  was  in  Pad- 

Frisker.     A  dancer. 

Frivol  (orFrivvle).  To  act 
frivolously,  trifle.  [A  resuscitation 
of  an  old  word  used  in  another  sense, 
viz.  to  annul,  to  set  aside]. 

Frog.     1.  A  policeman :  see  Beak. 

2.  A  Frenchman.   Also  Froggy  and 
Frog-eater.     [Formerly    a    Parisian ; 
the  shield  of  whose  city  bore  three 
toads,  while  the  quaggy  state  of  the 
streets  gave  point  to  a  jest  common 
at  Versailles  before  1791 :  Qu'en  di- 
sent  les  grenouilles  ?    i.e.    What  do 
the  frogs  (the  people  of  Pahs)  say  ?  ] 

3.  A  foot :  see  Creepers.     To  frog  on, 
to    get    on,    prosper.      Frogging-on, 

Frog  -  and  -  Toad  (rhyming).  The 
main  road. 

Frog-and-Toe.  The  city  of  New 

Froglander.  A  Dutchman :  cf. 
Frog,  sense  2.  (1696.) 

Frog-salad.  A  ballet ;  i.e.  a  Leg- 
piece  (q.v.). 

Frog's-march.  To  give  the  frog's 
march,  to  carry  a  man  face  down- 
wards to  the  station ;  a  device  adopted 
with  drunken  or  turbulent  prisoners. 

Frog's-wine.    Gin  :  see  Drinks. 

Frolic.     A  merry-making. 

Frosty-face.  A  pox-pitted  man 

Front  To  conceal  the  operations 
of  a  pickpocket ;  to  cover  (q.v.). 

Frontispiece.     The  face  :  see  Dial 

Front-windows.  The  eyes ;  also  the 

Frost  1.  A  complete  failure:  of. 
Fr.,  four  noir,  temps  noir.  2.  A  dearth 
of  work,  to  have  a  frost,  to  be  idle. 

Froudacious  (Froudacity).  The 
word  '  Froudacity,'  invented  by  Mr. 
Darnell  Davis  in  his  able  review  of 
The  Bow  of  Ulysses,  by  Mr.  T.  A. 
Fronde,  reached  the  height  of  popu- 
larity in  the  Australasian  Colonies, 
where  it  was  in  everyday  use,  the 
author  being  accused  of  ignorance, 
misleading,  and  careless  treatment  in 
his  book  on  the  Australasian  colonies. 




Froust  (Harrow  School).  1. 
Extra  sleep  allowed  on  Sunday  morn- 
ings and  whole  holidays  :  FT.,  faire  du 
lard.  2.  A  stink,  stuffiness  (in  a 

Frousty.     Stinking. 

F  r  o  u  t  (Winchester  College). 
Angry,  vexed. 

Frow  (Froe,  or  Vroe).  A  woman, 
wife,  mistress.  [From  the  Dutch.] 

Frummagemed.  Choked,  strangled, 
spoilt  (1671). 

Frump.  1.  A  contemptuous  speech 
or  piece  of  conduct,  sneer,  a  jest 
(1553).  2.  A  slattern ;  more  com- 
monly a  prim  old  lady  ;  the  correlative 
of  Fogey  (q.v.):  Fr.,  graitton.  3.  A 
cheat,  a  trick.  As  verb,  to  mock,  in- 
sult (1589). 

Frumper.  A  sturdy  man,  good 
blade  (1825). 

Frumpish.  Cross-grained,  old- 
fashioned  and  severe  in  dress,  manners, 
morals,  and  notions  :  also  ill-natured, 
given  to  frumps.  Also  Frumpy  (1589). 

Frushee.     An  open  jam  tart. 

Fry.  To  translate  into  plain 
English :  cf.  Boil  down.  Go  and  fry 
your  face,  a  retort  expressive  of  in- 
credulity, derision,  or  contempt. 

Frying  -  pan.  To  leap  (or  jump) 
from  the  frying-pan  into  the  fire,  to  go 
from  bad  to  worse  :  cf.  from  the  smoke 
into  the  smother  ('As  You  Like  It,'  I. 
ii. ) :  Fr.,  tomber  de  la  poele  dans  la 
braise  (1684).  To  fry  the  pewter,  to 
melt  down  pewter  measures. 

F-sharp.     A  flea  :  cf.  B-flat. 

Fuant.     Excrement. 

Fub.  To  cheat,  steal,  put  off  with 
false  excuses.  Also  Fubbery,  cheat- 
ing, stealing,  deception. 

Fubsey  (or  Fubsy).  Plump,  fat, 
well  -  filled.  Fubsy  dummy,  a  well- 
filled  pocket  -  book  ;  fubsy  wench,  a 
plump  girl  (Grose). 

Fubsiness.  Any  sort  of  fat- 

Fuddle.  1.  Drink.  [Wedgwood: 
A  corruption  of  Fuzz.]  (1621).  2.  A 
drunken  bout ;  a  Drunk.  As  verb, 
to  be  drunk:  see  Screwed. 

Fuddlecap  (or  Fuddler).  A 
drunkard,  boon  companion :  see  Lush- 
ington  (1607). 

Fuddled.  Stupid  with  drink  :  see 
Screwed  (1G61). 

Fudge.  Nonsense,  humbug,  ex- 
aggeration, falsehood  (1700).  Also 

as  an  exclamation  of  contempt.  As 
verb,  (1)  to  fabricate,  interpolate, 
contrive  without  proper  materials. 
(2)  To  copy,  to  crib.  (3)  To  botch, 
bungle,  muff  (q.v.).  (4)  To  advance 
the  hand  unfairly  at  marbles. 

Fug  (Shrewsbury  School).  To  stay 
in  a  stuffy  room.  As  adj.,  stuffy. 

Fuggy.     A  hot  roll. 

Fugo.     The  rectum  (Cotgrave). 

Fulhams  (or  Fullams).  1.  Loaded 
dice ;  called  '  high '  or  '  low '  Fulhams 
as  they  were  intended  to  turn  up 
high  of  low.  [Conjecturally,  because 
manufactured  at  Fulham,  or  because 
that  village  was  a  notorious  resort 
of  blacklegs.]  (1594).  2.  A  sham,  a 
Make-believe  (q.v.)  (1664). 

Fulham  -  virgin.  A  prostitute  : 
cf.  Bankside  lady,  Covent  Garden  nun, 
St.  John's  Wood  vestal,  etc. 

Fulk.  To  use  an  unfair  motion  of 
the  hand  in  plumping  at  taw  (Grose). 

F  u  1  k  e  r.  A  pawnbroker  :  see 
Uncle  (1566). 

Full.  1.  Drunk  :  see  Screwed.  2. 
Used  by  bookmakers  to  signify  that 
they  have  laid  all  the  money  they  wish 
against  a  particular  horse.  Full  guts, 
a  swag  -  bellied  man  or  woman.  A 
full  hand,  five  large  beers.  Full  in  the 
belly,  with  child.  Full  in  the  pasterns 
(or  the  hocks),  thick  -  ankled.  Full 
team,  an  eulogium.  A  man  is  a  full 
team  when  of  consequence  in  the 
community.  Variants  are  whole  team, 
or  whole  team  and  a  horse  to  spare : 
cf.  One-horse=mean,  insignificant,  or 
strikingly  small.  Full  in  the  waist- 
coat, swag-bellied.  Full  of  'em,  lousy, 
nitty,  full  of  fleas.  Full  to  the  bung, 
very  drunk :  see  Screwed.  To  have 
(or  wear)  a  full  suit  of  mourning,  to 
have  two  black  eyes.  Half -mourning, 
one  black  eye :  see  Mouse.  To  come 
full  bob,  to  come  suddenly,  full  tilt. 
Full  against,  (1)  dead,  or  decidedly 
opposed  to,  a  person,  thing,  or  place. 
Full-flavoured,  peculiarly  rank :  as  a 
story,  an  exhibition  of  profane  swear- 
ing. Full-gutted,  stout,  swag-bellied. 
Full  of  emptiness,  utterly  void.  Full 
on,  set  strongly  in  a  given  direction, 
especially  in  an  obscene  sense.  At 
full  chisel,  at  full  speed  ;  with  the 
greatest  violence  or  impetuosity. 
Also  Full  drive ;  Full  split.  In  full 
blast  (swing),  etc.,  in  the  height  of 
success ;  in  hot  pursuit.  In  full  dig, 
on  full  pay.  In  full  feather :  see 


Fuller's  Earth. 


Feather.  In  full  fig :  see  Fig.  Full 
of  it,  with  child.  Pull  of  guts,  full  of 
vigour,  excellently  inspired  and  done  : 
as  a  picture,  a  novel,  and  BO  forth : 
see  Guts.  Full  of  beans :  see  Beans. 
Full  of  bread :  nee  Bread. 

Fuller's  Earth.     Gin  :  see  Satin. 

Fullied.  To  be  fullied,  to  be  com- 
mitted for  trial :  Fr.,  i-tre  mis  tur  la 
planche  au  pain.  [From  the  news- 
paper expression,  Fully  committed.] 

Fulness.  There's  not  fulness 
enough  in  the  sleeve  top,  a  derisive 
answer  to  a  threat. 

F  u  m  b  1  e  r.  An  impotent  man 

Fumbles.     Gloves. 

Fun.  LA  cheat,  a  trick.  As 
verb,  ( 1 )  to  cheat,  trick :  also  (2)  To  put 
the  fun  on.  2.  The  posteriors,  or 
Western  End  (Marvett).  Probably 
an  abbreviation  of  fundament.  To 
poke  fun  at,  to  joke,  ridicule,  make 
a  butt.  To  have  been  making  fun, 
intoxicated  :  see  Screwed. 

Functior  (or  Puncture)  (Win- 
chester College).  An  iron  bracket 
candlestick,  used  for  the  nightlight  in 
college  chambers.  [The  word,  says 
Winchester  Notions,  looks  like  fulc- 
tura,  an  earlier  form  of  fulture,  mean- 
ing a  prop  or  stay,  with  phonetic 
change  of  I  into  n.] 

Fundamental  -features.  The 
posteriors  (1818). 

Funds.  Finances ;  e.g.  My 
funds  are  very  low. 

Funeral.  It's  not  my  (or  your) 
funeral,  it  is  no  business  of  mine,  or 
yours  :  Fr.,  nib  dans  mes  blots  (that  is 
not  my  affair).  Also  used  affirm- 

Fungus.     An  old  man. 

Funk.  1.  Tobacco  smoke  ;  also  a 
powerful  stink.  2.  A  state  of  fear, 
trepidation,  nervousness,  or  cowardice, 
a  stew  (q.v.).  Generally,  with  an 
intensitive,  e.g.  a  mortal,  awful, 
bloody,  or  blue  funk  :  Fr.,  guenette, 
flubart,  frousse.  3.  A  coward.  As 
verb,  (1)  to  smoke  out :  see  Funk  the 
cobbler.  (2)  To  terrify,  shrink  or 
quail  through  nervousness  or  coward- 
ice. (3)  To  fear,  hesitate,  shirk ;  and 
(among  pugilists)  to  come  it  (q.v.). 
English  jynonyms :  to  come  it,  to  lose 
one's  guts,  to  get  the  needle  (athletic), 
(4)  To  be  nervous,  lose  heart.  (5)  To 
move  the  hand  forward  unfairly  in 
playing  marbles;  to  fudge  (q.v.). 

To  funk  the  cobbler,  to  smoke  out  a 
schoolmate :  a  trick  performed  with 
asafoetida  and  cotton  stuffed  into  a 
hollow  tube  or  cow's  horn  ;  the  cotton 
being  lighted,  the  smoke  is  blown 
through  the  keyhole  (1698).  See  also 
Peter  Funk. 

k'Funker.  1.  A  pipe,  a  cigar;  a  fire. 
2.  A  low  thief.  3.  A  coward. 

Funking  -  room.  The  room  at 
the  Royal  College  of  Surgeons  where 
the  students  collect  on  the  last  even- 
ing of  their  final  during  the  addition 
of  their  marks,  and  whence  each  is 
summoned  by  an  official  announcing 
failure  or  success. 

Funkster  (Winchester  College). 
A  coward  ;  one  that  funks  (q.v.). 

Funky.  Nervous,  frightened,  timid 

Funnel.  The  throat :  see  Gutter 

Funniment.  A  joke,  either  practical 
or  verbal. 

Funny.  A  clinker-built,  narrow 
boat  for  sculls.  To  feel  funny,  to  be 
overtaken  with  (1)  emotion,  or  (2) 
drink  :  e.g.  to  wax  amorous,  or  get  the 
flavour  (q.v.);  to  begin  to  be  the 
worse  for  liquor. 

Funny  Bone.  The  elbow,  with  the 
passage  of  the  ulnar  nerve  connecting 
the  two  bones :  the  extremity  of  the 
humerus  (1837). 

Funny  -  man.  A  circus  clown. 
Also  a  joker  in  private  life. 

Fur.  To  make  the  fur  fly  :  see 
Fly.  To  have  one's  fur  out,  to  be 

Fur  -  and  -  feathers.  Generic  for 

Furioso.  A  blusterer.  Ital., 
furioso  =  raving  (1692).  English 
synonyms:  barker,  blower,  bodadil, 
bouncer,  bulldozer  (American),  caca- 
fogo,  Captain  Bounce,  Captain  Bluff, 
Captain  Grand,  Captain  Hackam, 
cutter,  fire-eater,  hector,  huff-cap, 
humguffin,  gasser,  gasman,  mouth, 
mouth  -  almighty,  pissfire,  pump- 
thunder,  ramper,  roarer,  ruffler,  shite- 
fire,  slangwhanger,  spitfire,  swash- 
buckler, swasher,  teazer,  Timothy 

Furk  (Ferk,  Firk)  (Winchester 
College).  To  expel,  send  (as  on  a 
message),  drive  away.  Also  To  furk 
up,  and  furk  down.  [Old  English 
fercian,  High  German  ferken.  Middle 
English,  to  lead  or  send  away.] 


Fur  men. 


Furmen.  Aldermen.  From  their 
fur-trimmed  robes. 

Furmity-f aced.  White-faced :  e.g. 
to  simper  like  a  furmity  kitten  (Grose). 

Furnish.  To  fill  out,  improve  in 
strength  and  appearance. 

Furniture-picture.  A  picture  sold 
not  as  a  piece  of  art  but  as  a  piece 
of  upholstery,  such  things  being  turned 
out  by  the  score,  as  pianos  are,  or 
three  -  legged  stools  ;  the  worst  and 
cheapest  kind  of  Pot-boiler  (q.v.). 

Furry  -  tail.  A  non-unionist ;  a 
Eat  (q.v.).  Specifically,  a  workman 
accepting  employment  at  less  than 
Society  wages :  cf.  Dung,  Flint, 

Further.  Til  see  you  further 
first,  a  denial. 

Fur-trade.     Barristers. 

F  u  s  s  o  c  k  (or  Fussocks).  Op- 
probrious term  for  a  fat  woman  (1690). 

Fust  (or  Fust  out).  To  end  in 
smoke,  go  to  waste,  end  in  nothing  : 
cf.  Fizzle. 

Fustian.  1.  Bombast,  bad 
rhetoric,  sound  without  sense,  bom- 
bastic ranting  :  now  accepted  (1598). 

2.  Wine.  White  fustian,  champagne  ; 
red  fustian,  port. 

Fustilarian.  A  low  fellow,  a 
common  scoundrel  (1598). 

Fustilug  (Fustilugs).  A  piece  of 
grossness — male  or  female,  a  coarse 
and  dirty  Blowzalinda,  a  foul  slut,  a 
fat  stinkard  (1696). 

Future.  To  deed  in  futures,  to 
speculate  for  a  rise  or  fall. 

Fuzz.  1.  To  shuffle  cards  min- 
utely ;  also  to  change  the  pack  (Grose). 
2.  To  be,  or  make,  drunk  (1685). 

Fuzziness.  The  condition  of 
being  in  drink.  Hence  blurredness, 
incoherence,  bewilderment. 

Fuzzy.  1.  Drunk :  see  Screwed. 
Hence  blurred  (as  a  picture),  tangled, 
incoherent  or  inconsequent.  2.  Rough, 
as  in  a  fuzzy  head,  a  fuzzy  cloth,  a 
fuzzy  bit  (a  full  -  grown  wench),  a 
fuzzy  carpet,  etc. 

Fuzzy-wuzzy.  A  Soudanese  tribes- 

Fye-buck.  A  sixpence  :  see  Rhino 

Fylche.     See  Filch. 

Fyst.     See  Foist. 

Gab.  1.  The  mouth  ;  also  Gob  : 
see  Potato  trap.  2.  Talk,  idle  babble  : 
also  Gabb,  Gabber,  and  Gabble  (1712). 
As  verb,  to  talk  fluently  or  brilliantly, 
to  lie  (1383).  Gift  of  the  gab  (or  gob), 
the  gift  of  conversation,  the  talent  for 
speech:  Fr.,  ri" avoir  pas  sa  languedans 
sa  poche.  To  blow  the  gab,  to  inform, 
peach  (q.v.).  Also  to  blow  the  gaff 
(q.v.).  To  flash  the  gab,  to  show  off 
(q.  v. )  in  talk ;  cf.  Air  one's  vocabulary. 

Gabble.  1.  A  gossip :  also 
Gabbler,  Gabble  -  grinder,  Gabble- 
merchant,  and  Gabble  -  monger.  2. 
A  voluble  talker. 

Gabble-mill.  1.  The  United  States 
Congress  :  also  Gabble-manufactory. 
2.  A  pulpit :  see  Humbox.  3.  The 
mouth :  see  Potato-trap. 

Gable.  The  head  :  also  Gable- 
end  :  see  Crumpet. 

Gabster.  A  voluble  talker,  whether 
eloquent  or  vain  ;  one  having  the  Gift 
of  the  gab  (q.v.). 

Gab-string.     See  Gob-string. 

Gaby  (also  Gabbey  and  Gabby). 
A  fool,  babbler,  boor  :  see  Buffle. 

Gad.  An  idle  slattern :  i.e.  Gad- 
about (q.v.).  As  intj.,  an  abbrevia- 
tion of  By  Gad  !  On  the  gad,  1.  on  the 
spur  of  the  moment.  2.  On  the  move, 
on  the  gossip.  3.  On  the  spree  (especi- 
ally of  women) ;  and,  by  implication, 
on  the  town.  To  gad  the  hoof,  to  walk 
or  go  without  shoes,  Pad  the  hoof 
(q.v.).  Also,  more  loosely,  to  walk  or 
roam  about. 

Gadabout.  A  trapesing  gossip  ;  as 
a  housewife  seldom  seen  at  home,  but 
very  often  at  her  neighbours'  doors. 
Also  as  adjective  ;  e.g.  A  Gad-about 

G  a  ff.  1.  A  fair  (1754).  2.  A 
cheap,  low  music  -  hall  or  theatre  ; 
frequently  Penny-gaff.  3.  A  hoax, 
an  imposture.  4.  (American  cock- 
pit) A  steel  spur.  5.  (anglers')  A 
landing  spear,  barbed  in  the  iron.  As 
verb,  (1)  to  toss  for  liquor.  (2)  To  play 
in  a  gaff  (q.v.  sense  2).  To  blow  the 
gaff  (or  gab),  to  give  information,  let 
out  a  secret  (1185). 

G  a  ff  e  r.  1.  An  old  man ;  the 
masculine  of  Gammer  (q.v.).  Also  a 



Call  <i,.t. 

title  of  address:  e.g.  Good  day, 
gaffer!  Cf.  Uncle  and  Daddy. 
Also,  by  implication,  a  husband.  2. 
A  master,  employer,  BOBS  (q.v.) ; 
(athletic)  a  pedestrian  trainer  and 
'farmer';  and  (navvies')  a  gang- 
master  or  Ganger  (q.v.)  (1719).  3. 
A  toss-penny,  a  gambler. 

G  a  ffi  n  g.  A  mode  of  tossing  for 
drinks,  etc.,  in  which  three  coins  are 
placed  in  a  hat,  shaken  up,  and  then 
thrown  on  the  table.  If  the  party  to 
call,  calls  heads  (or  tails)  and  all 
three  coins  are  as  he  calls  them,  he 
wins  ;  if  not,  he  pays  a  settled  amount 
towards  drinks  (Kgan). 

Gag.  1.  A  joke,  invention,  hoax. 
Also  as  verb,  to  hoax,  puff  ( 1 78 1 ).  2. 
Expressions  interpolated  by  an  actor 
in  his  part :  especially  such  as  can  be 
repeated  again  and  again  in  the  course 
of  performance.  Certain  plays,  as 'The 
Critic,'  are  recognised  'gag-pieces,' 
and  in  these  the  practice  is  accounted 
legitimate.  Cf. '  Hamlet,'  m.  ii.  'And 
let  those  that  play  your  clowns,  say  no 
more  than  is  set  down  for  them.'  Cf. 
Wheeze.  A  typical  example  is  the 
'  I  believe  you,  my  boy  ! '  of  the  late 
Paul  Bedford.  Occasionally  gag  = 
patter  (q.v.).  Also  as  verb.  3.  A 
commonwealth  of  players  in  which 
the  profits  are  shared  :  cf.  Conscience. 
4.  A  fool ;  i.e.  a  thing  to  laugh  at :  see 
Buffle.  5.  (Christ's  Hospital).  Boiled 
fat  beef.  Gag-eater,  a  term  of  reproach 
(1813).  6.  (Winchester  College).  An 
exercise  (said  to  have  been  invented 
by  Dr.  Gabell)  which  consists  in 
writing  Latin  criticisms  on  some 
celebrated  piece,  in  a  book  sent  in 
about  once  a  month.  In  the  Parts 
below  Sixth  Book  and  Senior  Part,  the 
gags  consisted  in  historical  analysis. 
[An  abbreviation  of  gathering.]  As 
verb,  (1)  see  supra,  and  (2)  to  in- 
form, Round  on  (q.v.);  also  to  blow 
the  gag.  On  the  high  gag,  on  the 
whisper,  telling  secrets.  On  the  low 
gag,  on  the  last  rungs  of  beggary,  ill- 
luck,  or  despair.  To  strike  the  gag,  to 
cease  from  chaffing. 

Gage  (Gauge,  or  Gag).  1.  A  quart 
pot  (i.e.  a  measure) :  also  a  drink  or 
Go  (q.v.).  (1567).  2.  (18th  century). 
A  chamber-pot  3.  A  pipe  (1696).  4. 
A  man  :  see  Cove. 

Gagers.    The  eyes  :  see  Glims. 

Gagga.  A  cheat,  who  by  sham 
pretence  and  wonderful  stories  of 

suffering  imposes  on  the  credulity  of 

G  a  g  g  e  r.  A  player  dealing  in 
Gags  (q.v.),  sense  2.  Also  Gaggist, 
Gag- master,  and  Gagster. 

Gaggery.  The  practice  of  Gag- 
ging (q.v.),  sense  3. 

Gagging.  1.  Bluff  (q.v.) ;  speci- 
fically, Bunco-steering  (q.v.),  the  art  of 
talking  over  and  persuading  a  stranger 
that  he  is  an  old  acquaintance.  2. 
Loitering  about  for  fares, '  crawling.' 
3.  Dealing  in  Gags  (q.v.),  sense  1. 
Also  as  ppl.  adj. 

Gaggler's-coach.     A  hurdle. 

Gail.     A  horse  :  see  Prad. 

Gaily  -  like.  Showy,  expensive, 
Bang-up  (q.v.). 

Gain-pain.  A  sword ;  specifically,  in 
the  Middle  Ages,  that  of  a  nired  soldier. 
FT.,  gagner  =  to  gain  +  pain,  bread. 
Cf.  Breadwinner  and  Potboiler 

Gait  Walk  in  life,  profession, 
mode  of  making  a  living,  Game  (q.v.). 

Gaiters.     Half  boots,  shoes. 

Gal.  1.  A  girl,  servant-maid,  sweet- 
heart. Beat  girl,  favourite  flame.  2. 
A  prostitute.  3.  A  female  rough. 

Galaney.     See  Galeny. 

Galanty-  (Gallanty-  or  Gal  an  tee-) 
show.  A  shadow  pantomime :  silhou- 
ettes shown  on  a  transparency  or 
thrown  on  a  white  sheet  by  a  magic 
lantern :  specifically,  the  former. 

Gal-boy.     A  romp,  Tom-boy  (q.v.). 

Galen.  An  apothecary :  see 

Galena.  Salt  pork.  [Galen, 
111.,  a  chief  hog-raising  and  pork- 
packing  centre.] 

Galeny  (or  Galany).  The  domestic 
hen  ;  now  (West  of  England)  a  guinea 
fowl :  see  Cackling  -  cheat  [Latin, 

Galimaufrey.  1.  A  medley,  jumble, 
chaos  of  differences.  [Fr. ,  gaUimaufree, 
a  hash.]  (1592).  2.  A  hodge-podge 
of  scraps  and  leavings  (1724).  3.  A 
mistress  (1596). 

Gall.  Effrontery,  Cheek  (q.v.), 
Brass  (q.v.) ;  e.g.  Ain't  he  got  a 
gall  on  him  ?  (1789). 

Gallant  A  Dandy  (q.v.),  ladies' 
man,  lover,  cuckold-maker,  whether 
in  posse  or  in  ease.  (Shakespeare).  As 
adj.,  (1)  valiant ;  (2)  showy  ;  (3)  amor- 
ous. As  verb,  to  sweetheart,  squire, 
escort,  pursue,  or  enjoy.  To 
gallant  a  fan,  to  break  with  design. 


Gallant  Fiftieth. 


to  afford  an  opportunity  of  presenting 
a  better  (B.  E.)  (1690). 

Gallant  Fiftieth.  The  Fiftieth 
Foot.  [For  its  share  in  Vimiera, 
1808.]  Also,  Blind  half  -  hundred 
(q.v.);  and  Dirty  half-hundred  (q.v.). 

Gallantry.  (1)  Sparkishness 
(q.v.),  dandyism;  and  (2)  the  habit, 
or  pursuit,  of  sexuality.  A  life  of 
gallantry,  a  life  devoted  to  the  other 

Gallery  (Winchester  College) 
A  commoner  bedroom.  [From  a  tra- 
dition of  galleries  in  Commoners.] 
See  Gallery -nymphs.  To  play  to  the 
gattery,  to  act  so  as  to  win  the  applause 
of  the  vulgar  :  i.e.  to  abandon  distinc- 
tion and  art  for  coarseness  of  means 
and  cheapness  of  effect.  Said  indif- 
ferently of  any  one  in  any  profession 
who  exerts  himself  to  win  the  suffrages 
of  the  mob  ;  as  a  political  demagogue, 
a  '  popular '  preacher,  a  '  fashion- 
able '  painter,  and  so  on.  Hence, 
Gattery -hit  (shot,  stroke,  etc.),  a 
touch  designed  for,  and  exclusively  ad- 
dressed to,  the  non-critical.  To  play 
the  gallery,  to  make  an  audience,  ap- 

Gallery-nymph  (Winchester  Col- 
lege). A  housemaid :  see  Gallery. 

Galley.  Put  a  brass  galley  down 
your  back  (printers'),  an  admonition  to 
appear  before  a  principal,  implying 
that  the  galley  will  serve  as  a  screen. 

Galley-foist.  The  state  barge,  used 
by  the  Lord  Mayor  when  sworn  in  at 
Westminster  (1609). 

Galley  -  growler  (or  stoker). 
A  loafer,  Malingerer  (q.v.),  Grumble- 
guts  (q.v.). 

Galley  -  halfpenny.  A  base  coin, 
temp.  Henry  IV.  Because  commonly 
imported  in  Genoese  galleys.] 

Galley-slave.  A  compositor  :  see 
Donkey  (1683). 

Galleywest.  An  indefinite  super- 
lative :  cf.  About-east. 

Galley-yarn  (or  news).  A  lying 
story,  a  swindle  or  Take-in  (q.v.). 
Frequently  abbreviated  to  '  G.Y.' 

Gallied.  Harried,  vexed,  over- 
fatigued,  perhaps  like  a  galley-slave 
(Grose).  In  Australia,  frightened. 

Gallinipper.     A  large  mosquito. 

Gallipot.  An  apothecary.  Eng- 
lish synonyms:  bolus,  bum-tender, 
clyster-giver,  clyster-pipe,  croaker, 
crocus,  drugs,  OUapod  (from  a  crea- 
tion of  the  Younger  Coleman's), 

gagemonger,  Galen  (from  the  great 
physician),  jakes- provider,  pill- box, 
pill  -  merchant,  pills,  squirt,  salts- 
and-senna,  squire  of  the  pot. 

Gallivant.  1.  To  gad  about 
with,  or  after,  one  of  the  other  sex, 
play  the  gallant,  do  the  agreeable. 
2.  To  Trapes  (q.v.),  fuss,  bustle  about. 

Gallivate.  To  frisk,  figure  about: 
cf.  Gallivant. 

Gallon.  What's  a  gallon  of  rum 
among  one  ?  The  retort  sarcastic  ; 
applied,  e.g.  to  those  with  '  eyes  too 
big  for  their  stomach,'  to  dispro- 
portionate ideas  of  the  fitness  of  things, 
and  so  forth. 

Gallon  -  distemper.  1.  Delirium 
tremens ;  2.  the  lighter  after-effects  of 
drinking.  English  synonyms :  ( 1 )  For 
the  former — barrel-fever,  black-dog, 
blue-devils,  blue  Johnnies  (Australian), 
B.  J.  (idem),  blues,  bottle-ache,  D.  T.  ; 
horrors,  jim-jams,  jumps,  pink-spiders, 
quart  -  mania,  rams,  rats,  shakes, 
snakes  in  the  boots,  trembles, triangles, 
uglies.  (2)  For  the  latter — a  head,  hot- 
coppers,  a  mouth,  a  touch  of  the 
brewer,  a  sore  head  (Scots). 

Galloper.  1.  A  blood  horse,  a 
hunter.  2.  An  aide-de-camp. 

Gallow-grass.  Hemp  [i.e.  halters 
in  the  rough.]  (1578). 

Gallows.  1.  A  rascal,  a  wretch 
deserving  the  rope  (1594).  2.  gener- 
ally in.  pi.,  Gallowses,  a  pair  of  braces. 
As  adv.,  excessively :  cf.  Bloody, 
Bleeding  (q.v.),  etc.  As  adj.,  great, 
uncommon,  real  (1551). 

Gallows-bird  (also  Newgate- 
bird).  1.  A  son  of  the  rope,  habitual 
criminal,  vagabond  or  scoundrel — old 
or  young,  crack-rope  or  wag-halter 
(Cotgrave  ;  a  gallows  clapper  ( Florio) : 
FT.,  gibier  de  Cayenne  (or  de  potence). 
2.  (common).  A  corpse  on,  or  from, 
the  gallows. 

Gallows-faced.  Evil-looking,  hang- 
dog :  also  Gallows-looking  (1766). 

Gallows  -  minded.  Criminal  in 
habit  and  idea,  evil-hearted. 

Gallowsness.  Rascality,  reck- 
lessness, mischievousness. 

Gallows-ripe.     Ripe  for  the  rope. 

Callus.     See  Gallows. 

Gally-foist.     See  Galley-foist. 

Gallyslopes.  Breeches:  see 

Galoot  (also  Galloot  and  Geeloot). 
A  man  (sometimes  in  contempt) ;  also 
(in  America)  a  worthless  fellow  (or 




thing),  rowdy,  Cad  (q.v.)-  On  the  gay 
galoot,  on  the  spree. 

Galoptious  (or  Galuptious). 
Delightful :  a  general  superlative. 

Galore  (also  Gallore  and  Golore). 
In  abundance,  plenty. 

Galumph.  To  bump  along  :  ono- 

Galvanised-Yankee.  A  Greyback 
(q.v.)  who  took  the  oath  to  the  North 
and  served  in  its  armies. 

Gam.  1.  Pluck,  gameness.  2. 
Stealing  ( MaUdl,  1859).  As  verb,  ( 1 ) 
to  steal.  (2)  To  engage  in  social  inter- 
course, make  a  call,  have  a  chat. 

Gamaliel.  A  pedant,  a  person 
curious  of  the  letter  and  the  form  : 
e.g.  these  Gamaliels  of  the  theory 
=  these  ultra- puritans,  to  whom  the 
spirit  is  nothing. 

Gamb  (or  Gam).  A  leg:  an  heraldic 
term.  [It.,  gambe  ;  Fr.,  jambe  ;  prob- 
ably through  Lingua  Franca.] 

Gamble.    A  venture,  Flutter  (q.v.). 

Gambler.  '  A  guinea  -  dropper  ; 
one  class  of  sharpers  '  (Bailey).  '  A 
tricking  gamester  '  (Grose).  '  A  cant 
word,  I  suppose.  A  knave  whose 
practice  it  is  to  invite  the  unwary  to 
game  and  cheat  them  '  (Johnson). 

Gambol.     A  railway  ticket 

Gam-cases.     Stockings. 

Game.  1.  The  proceeds  of  a 
robbery,  Swag  (q.v.).  2.  A  company 
of  harlots.  A  game  -  pullet,  a  young 

B restitute.  3.  A  gull,  simpleton :  see 
uffle.  4.  Specifically,  the  game, 
thieving ;  also  (nautical),  slave  trading. 
Hen  of  the  game,  a  shrew,  a  fighting 
woman  (1639).  5.  A  source  of  amuse- 
ment, Lark  (q.v.),  Barney  (q.v.) ;  as, 
e.g.  It  was  such  a  game !  6.  A 
design,  trick,  object,  line  of  conduct : 
e.g.  What's  your  little  game,  What 
are  you  after  ?  Also,  None  of  your  little 
games  !  None  of  your  tricks  !  As  adj., 

( 1 )  plucky,  enduring,  full  of  spirit  and 
Bottom  (q.v.).     [Cock-pit  and  pugil- 
ists.    The  word  may  be  said  to  have 
passed  into  the  language  with  the  rise 
to    renown    of    Harry    Pearce,    sur- 
named   the  Game  Chicken.]    (1747). 

(2)  Beady,   willing,   prepared.     [Also 
from  cock-fighting.     See    sense    1.] 

(3)  Lame,  crooked,  disabled :    as  in 
Game  leg.     (4)  Knowing,  wide-awake, 
and  (of    women)    Flash    (q.v.) :    e.g. 
Qame-cove,  an    associate  of    thieves ; 
Game-woman,  a  prdstitute;  Game-ship 
(old),  a  ship  whose  commander  and 

officers  could  be  corrupted  by  bribes  to 
allow  the  cargo  to  be  stolen  (Clark 
Rwtsell).  Cock  of  the  game,  a  champ- 
ion, an  undoubted  blood,  a  star  of 
magnitude  (cock-pit)  (1719).  To  mate 
game  of,  to  turn  into  ridicule,  delude, 
humbug  (1671).  To  die  game,  to 
maintain  a  resolute  attitude  to  the  last, 
to  show  no  contrition.  To  get  against 
the  game,  to  take  a  risk,  chance  it. 
[From  the  game  of  poker.]  To  play 
the  game,  to  do  a  thing  properly,  do 
what  is  right  and  proper. 

Gamecock.  Hectoring,  angry, 
valiant  out  of  place. 

Gameness.  Pluck,  endurance,  the 
mixture  of  spirit  and  bottom. 

Gamester.  1.  A  prostitute  (1598). 
2.  A  ruffler,  gallant,  wencher ;  a  man 
fit  and  ready  for  anything ;  also  a 
player  (1639). 

G  a  m  e  y.  1.  High  -  smelling, 
offensive  to  the  nose,  half-rotten.  2. 
Frisky,  plucky. 

Gaminess.  The  malodorousness 
proceeding  from  decay  and — by  im- 
plication— filthiness. 

Gaming-house.  A  house  of  ill-re- 
pute— hell,  tavern,  or  stews  (1611). 

Gammer.  An  old  wife :  a  familiar 
address  —  the  correlative  of  Gaffer 
(q.v.)  (1551). 

Gamming.  A  whaleman's  term  for 
visits  paid  by  crews  to  each  other  at 

Gammon.  1.  Nonsense,  humbug, 
deceit :  sometimes  Gammon  and 
spinach.  No  gammon,  no  error,  no 
lies  (1363).  Also  as  verb,  English 
synonyms :  to  bam,  to  bamblustercate, 
to  bamboozle,  to  bambosh,  to  barney, 
to  be  on  the  job,  to  best,  to  bilk,  to 
blarney,  to  blow,  to  bosh,  to  bounce, 
to  cob,  to  cod,  to  cog,  to  chaff,  to  come 
over  (or  the  artful,  or  Paddy,  or  the 
old  soldier  over)  one,  to  cram,  to  do, 
to  do  brown,  to  doctor,  to  do  Taffy, 
to  fake  the  kidment,  to  flare  up,  to 
flam,  to  flummox,  to  get  at  (round, 
or  to  windward  of)  one,  to  gild  the 
pill,  to  give  a  cock's  egg,  to  gravel, 
to  gull,  to  haze,  to  jimmify,  to  jaw, 
to  jockey,  to  jolly,  to  kid,  to  make 
believe  the  moon  is  made  of  green 
cheese  (Cotgrave).  to  mogue,  to  palm 
off  on,  to  pickle,  to  plant,  to  plum,  to 
poke  bogey  (or  fun)  at,  to  promoss, 
to  put  the  kibosh  on,  to  put  in  the 
chair,  cart,  or  basket,  to  pull  the  leg, 
to  queer,  to  quiz,  to  roast,  to  roor- 



back,  to  run  a  bluff,  or  the  shenani- 
gan, to  sell,  to  send  for  pigeon's  milk, 
to  sit  upon,  to  send  for  oil  of  strappum, 
etc.,  to  shave,  to  slum,  or  slumguzzle, 
to  smoke,  to  snack,  to  soap,  soft  soap, 
sawder,  or  soft  sawder,  to  spoof,  to 
stick,  to  stall,  to  string,  or  get  on  a 
string,  to  stuff,  to  sawdust,  or  get  on 
sawdust  and  treacle,  to  suck,  to  suck 
up,  to  sugar,  to  swap  off,  to  take  a  rise 
out  of,  to  rot,  to  tommy-rot,  to  take 
in,  or  down,  to  take  to  town,  to  take 
to  the  fair,  to  tip  the  traveller,  to  try 
it  on,  to  throw  dust  in  the  eyes,  to 
throw  a  tub  to  a  whale,  to  pepper, 
to  throw  pepper  in  the  eyes,  to  use  the 
pepper  box,  to  whiffle,  to  work  the 
poppycock  racket  (Irish-American). 
[Note. — Many  of  the  foregoing  are 
used  substantively.]  2.  A  confederate 
whose  duty  is  to  engage  the  attention 
of  a  victim  during  robbery,  Bonnet 
(q.v.),  Cover  (q.v.).  Also  as  verb, 
to  humbug :  deceive,  to  take  in.  As 
intj.,  nonsense,  Skittles  (q.v.).  Gam- 
mon and  Patter,  (I)  the  language  used 
by  thieves  ;  (2)  (modern),  a  meeting,  a 
Palaver  (q.v.) ;  (3)  commonplace  talk 
of  any  kind.  To  give  (or  keep)  in 
gammon,  to  engage  a  person's  atten- 
tion while  a  confederate  is  robbing 
him  (1719).  To  gammon  lushy  (or 
queer,  etc.),  to  feign  drunkenness, 
sickness,  etc.  To  gammon  the  twelve, 
to  deceive  the  jury. 

Gammoner.  1.  One  who  Gam- 
mons (q.v.),  a  nonsense-monger:  Fr., 
bonisseur  de  loffitudes,  blagueur,  man- 
geur  de  frimes.  2.  A  confederate  who 
covers  the  action  of  his  chief,  Bonnet 
Cover,  Stall,  all  which  see. 

Gammy.  1.  Cant.  2.  A  nick- 
name for  a  lameter  ;  a  Hopping  Jesus 
(q.v.).  3.  A  fool :  see  Buffle.  As 
adj.,  (1)  bad,  impossible.  Applied  to 
householders  of  whom  it  is  known 
that  nothing  can  be  got.  Gammy- 
vial,  a  town  in  which  the  police  will 
not  allow  unlicensed  hawking.  (Vial, 
Fr.,  ViUe).  (2)  Forged,  false,  spurious : 
as  a  gammy -moneker,  a  forged  signa- 
ture ;  gammy-lour,  counterfeit  money, 
etc.  (3)  Old,  ugly.  (4)  Same  as  Game, 
sense  3  :  e.g.  a  gammy  arm,  an  arm 
in  dock.  Gammy-eyed,  blind,  sore- 
eyed  ;  or  afflicted  with  ecchymosis  in 
the  region  of  the  eyes.  Gammey-leg, 
a  lame  leg.  Also  (subs.)  a  term  of 
derision  for  the  halt  and  the  maimed. 

Gamp.      1.    A    monthly    nurse, 

Fingersmith  (q.v.).  Mrs.  Sarah 
Gamp,  a  character  in  Martin  Chuzzle- 
wit  (1843).]  Also  a  fussy  and  gossip- 
ing busybody.  2.  An  umbrella ; 
specifically,  one  large  and  loosely 
tied,  Lettuce  (q.v.).  [The  original 
Sarah  always  carried  one  of  this  said 
pattern.]  Sometimes  a  Sarah  Gamp. 
Mrs.  Gamp,  The  Standard.  As  adj., 
bulging :  also  Gampish. 

Gamut.  Tone,  general  scheme, 
Swim  (q.v.).  Thus  in  the  gamut,  a 
picture,  a  detail,  or  a  shade  of  colour, 
in  tone  with  its  environment. 

Gan  (also  Gane).  The  mouth : 
occasionally,  throat,  lip :  see  Potato 
trap  (1572). 

Gander.  A  married  man ;  in 
America  one  not  living  with  his  wife, 
Grass- widower  (q.v.).  As  verb,  to 
ramble,  waddle  (as  a  goose).  Also,  to 
quest  for  women.  Gone  gander :  see 
Gone  coon.  To  see  how  the  gander 
hops,  to  watch  events,  see  how  the  cat 
jumps.  What's  sauce  for  the  goose  is 
sauce  for  the  gander,  a  plea  for  consist- 

Gander-month.  The  month  after 
confinement ;  when  a  certain  license 
(or  so  it  was  held)  is  excusable  in  the 
male.  Also  Gander-moon,  the  hus- 
band at  such  a  period  being  called  a 
Gander-mooner  :  of.  Buck-hutch,  and 
Goose-month  (1617). 

Gander  -  party.  A  gathering  of 
men,  Stag-party  (q.v.) ;  also  Bull- 
dance,  Gander-gang,  etc.  :  cf.  Hen- 
party, an  assembly  of  women. 

Gander-pulling.     See  Goose-riding. 

Gander 's-wool.     Feathers. 

Gang.    A  troop,  a  company  (1639). 

Ganger.  An  overseer  or  foreman 
of  a  gang  of  workmen,  a  superin- 

Ganymede.  A  pot-boy  (i.e. 
a  cup-bearer) :  the  masculine  of  Hebe 
(q.v.)  (1659). 

Gaol-bird.  A  person  often  in  gaol, 
an  incorrigible  rogue  :  Fr.,  chevronnt. 

Gaoler's  -  coach.  A  hurdle  to  the 
place  of  execution  (1785). 

Gap.  To  blow  the  gap,  to  blow  the 
Gaff  (q.v.). 

Gapes.  A  fit  of  yawning  ;  also  the 
open  mouth  of  astonishment  (1818). 

Gapeseed.  1.  A  cause  of  aston- 
ishment, anything  provoking  the 
ignorant  to  stare  with  open  mouth : 
also  to  seek  a  gape's  nest  ( 1598).  2.  An 
open-mouthed  loiterer. 



Gapped.    Worsted,  Floored  (q.v.). 

Gar.     See  By  gar  ! 

Garble.  Garbling  the  coinage,  a 
practice  amongst  money-lenders  of 
picking  out  the  newest  coins  of  full 
weight  for  export  or  re-melting,  and 
passing  the  light  ones  into  circula- 

Garden  (The).  1.  (greengrocers', 
fruiterers',  etc.),  Covent  Garden 
Market ;  2.  (theatrical),  Covent  Gar- 
den Theatre ;  3.  (diamond  merchants'), 
Hatton  Garden.  Cf.  House,  Lane, 
etc.  The  Garden  (Covent  Garden) 
was  frequently  used  for  the  whole 
neighbourhood,  which  was  notorious 
as  a  place  of  strumpets  and  stews. 
Thus,  Garden  •  house,  a  brothel ; 
Garden-goddess,  a  woman  of  pleasure ; 
Garden-gout,  venereal  disease ;  Gar- 
den-whore, a  low  prostitute,  etc.]  To 
put  one  in  the  garden,  to  defraud  a 
confederate,  keep  back  part  of  the 
Regulars  (q.v.),  or  Swag  (q.v.). 

Gardener.  An  awkward  coach- 
man :  cf.  Tea-kettle  Coachman. 

Garden-gate  (rhyming).  A 
magistrate  :  see  Beak. 

Garden  Latin.  Barbarous  or 
sham  Latin  ;  also  Apothecaries',  Bog, 
Dog,  and  Kitchen  Latin. 

Garden  -  rake.  A  tooth  -  comb : 
also  Scratching-rake,  or  Rake. 

Gardy-loo.  A  warning  cry  ; 
take  care !  [Fr.,  gardez  (vous  de) 
Veau  1  Used  before  emptying  slops 
out  of  window  into  the  street.  Hence 
the  act  of  emptying  slops  itself.] 

Gargle.  A  drink  :  generic  :  cf. 
Lotion,  and  see  Go.  As  verb,  to 
drink,  liquor  up :  see  Lush. 

Gargle-factory.  A  public  house  : 
see  Lush-crib. 

Gam.  A  corruption  of  Go  on  I  Get 
away  with  you  ! 

Garnish.  1.  A  fee,  Footing  (q.v.) ; 
specifically  when  exacted  by  gaolers 
and  old  prisoners  from  a  newcomer. 
The  practice  was  forbidden  by  4  Geo. 
IV.,  c.  43,  sec.  12.  Also  Garnish- 
money  (1592).  2.  Fetters,  handcuffs  : 
see  Darbies.  As  verb,  to  fetter, 

Garret  1.  The  head,  Cockloft 
(q.v.),  Upper  storey  (q.v.) :  see 
Crumpet  (1625).  2.  The  fob-pocket. 
To  have  one's  garret  unfurnished,  to  be 
crazy,  stupid,  lumpish  :  Balmy  (q.v.). 

Garreteer.  LA  thief  robbing 
houses  by  entering  skylights  or  garret- 

windows  :  also  Dancer  and  Dancing- 
master.  2.  An  impecunious  author, 
literary  hack. 

Garret-master.  A  cabinet  -  maker 
working  on  his  own  account,  and  selling 
his  manufacture  to  the  dealers  direct. 

Garrison-hack.  1.  A  woman  given 
to  indiscriminate  flirtation  with 
officers  at  a  garrison.  2.  A  prostitute, 
a  soldier's  trull. 

Garrotte.  A  form  of  strangula- 
tion (see  verb).  [From  the  Spanish 
la  garrota,  a  method  of  capital  punish- 
ment, which  consists  in  strangulation 
by  means  of  an  iron  collar.]  As  verb, 

( 1 )  a  method  of  robbery  with  violence, 
much  practised  some  years  ago.     The 
victims  were  generally  old  or  feeble 
men  and  women.     Three  hands  were 
engaged :  the  Front-stall  who  looked 
out  in  that  quarter,  the  Back-stall  at 
the  rear,  and  the  Ugly  or  Nasty- man 
who  did  the  work  by  passing  his  arm 
round  his  subject's  neck  from  behind, 
and  so  throttling  him  to  insensibility. 

(2)  To  cheat   by  concealing   certain 
cards  at  the  back  of  the  neck. 

Garrotte r.  A  practitioner  of 
garrotting  (under  verb,  sense  1). 

Garrotting.  1.  See  Garrotte  (verb, 
sense  1).  2.  Hiding  a  part  of  one's 
hand  at  the  back  of  the  neck  for 
purposes  of  cheating. 

Garter.  In  pi.  the  irons,  or 
bilboes :  see  Darbies.  To  fly  (or 
prick)  the  garter  :  see  Prick. 

G  a  r  v  i  e  s.  1.  Sprats  :  some- 
times Garvie-herring.  2.  The  Garviest 
the  Ninety-fourth  Foot.  [From  the 
small  stature  of  earlier  recruits.] 

Gas.  Empty  talk,  bounce,  bombast. 
As  verb,  (1)  to  talk  idly,  brag,  bounce, 
talk  for  talking' s  sake  :  Fr.,  faire  son 
cheval  de  corbvUard  (in  American,  To 
be  on  the  tall  grass) :  see  Long  Bow. 
(2)  To  impose  on,  to  Pill  t(q.v.),  to 
Splash  (q.v.) :  see  Gammon.  To  take 
the  gas  out  of  one,  to  take  the  conceit 
out  of,  take  down  a  peg.  To  turn  on 
the  gas,  to  bounce,  Gas  (q.v.).  To 
turn  off  the  gas,  to  cease,  or  cause  to 
cease,  from  bouncing,  vapouring,  or 
Gas  (q.v.).  To  gas  round,  to  seek 
information  on  the  sly,  Gas  (q.v.). 

Gas-bag.  A  man  of  words  or  Gas 
(q-v-)»  gasconader  :  also  Gasometer. 

Gash.  The  mouth :  sea  Potato- 

Gashly.     A  vulgarism  for  Ghastly. 

G  a  s  k  i  n  s.      Wide     hose,   wide 




breeches.      From    Galligaskins,      An 
old  ludicrous  word  (Johnson). 

Gasp.  A  dram  of  spirits :  see  Go. 
As  verb,  to  drink  a  dram,  e.g.  Will  you 
gasp  ?  Will  you  take  something  neat. 

G  a  s  p  i  p  e.  1.  An  iron  steamer, 
whose  length  is  nine  or  ten  times  her 
beam.  [At  one  time  a  ship's  length 
but  rarely  exceeded  four  and  a  half  to 
five  times  the  beam.]  2.  A  bad  roller. 
3.  A  rifle,  specifically  the  old  Snider. 

Gaspipe- crawler.  A  thin  man  :  see 

Gasser.     A  braggart. 

Gassy  (or  Gaseous).  1.  Likely 
to  take  umbrage  or  to  flare  up.  2. 
Full  of  empty  talk  or  Gas  (q.v.). 

Gaster.  A  fine  and  curious  eater 
(Thackeray).  In  Rabelais,  the  belly 
and  the  needs  thereof :  a  coinage 
adopted  by  Urquhart. 

Gat.  A  quantity ;  e.g.  a  gat  of 
grub,  plenty  to  eat :  also  Gats. 

Gate.  1.  The  attendance  at  a  race 
or  athletic  meeting,  held  in  enclosed 
grounds ;  the  number  of  persons  who 
pass  the  gate.  2.  Money  paid  for  ad- 
mission to  athletic  sports,  race  course, 
etc.,  the  same  as  Gate-money  (q.v.). 
3.  in.  pi.  (University).  The  being  for- 
bidden to  pass  outside  the  gate  of  a 
college :  as  verb,  to  confine  wholly 
or  during  certain  hours  within  the 
college  gate  for  some  infraction  of 
discipline.  To  break  gates,  to  stay  out 
of  college  after  hours.  The  gate, 
among  fishmongers,  Billingsgate ; 
among  thieves,  Newgate :  cf.  Lane, 
Row,  Garden,  etc.  To  be  at  gates 
(Winchester  College).  To  assemble  in 
Seventh  Chamber  passage,  prepara- 
tory to  going  Hills  or  Cathedral.  On 
the  gate,  on  remand. 

Gate-bill.  The  record  of  an  under- 
graduate's failure  to  be  within  the 
precincts  of  his  college  at,  or  before,  a 
specified  time  at  night. 

Gate  -  money.  The  charge  for 
admission  to  a  race  -  meeting:  see 

G  a  t  e  r  (Winchester  College).  A 
plunge  head  foremost  into  a  Pot  (q.v.). 

Gate  -  race  (or  meeting).  For- 
merly, a  contest  not  got  up  for  sport 
but  entrance  money ;  now  a  race  or 
athletic  meeting  to  which  admission 
is  by  payment. 

Gath.  A  city  or  district  in  Philistia 
(q.v.);  often  used,  like  Askelon  (q.v.)for 
Philistia  itself.  Hence,  to  be 

in  Oath,  to  be  a  Philistine  (q.v.)  of  the 
first  magnitude ;  to  prevail  against  Oath, 
to  smite  the  Philistines  hip  and  thigh, 
as  becomes  a  valiant  companion  of 
the  Davidsbund ;  and  so  forth.  Tell  it 
not  in  Oath,  an  interjection  of  derision, 
signifying  that  the  person  exclaimed 
against  has  done  something  the  know- 
ledge of  which  would  bring  on  him 
the  wrath,  or  the  amazement,  of  his 

Gather.  To  gather  up,  to  lead 
away.  To  gather  the  taxes,  to  go  from 
workshop  to  workshop  seeking  employ- 
ment. Hence,  Tax  gatherer,  a  man 
out  of  work  and  looking  for  a  job  : 
cf.  Inspector  of  public  buildings.  Out 
of  gathers,  in  distress :  cf.  Out  at 

Gatherings.     See  Gags. 

Gatter.  Beer ;  also  liquor  gener- 
ally. Shant  of  gatter,  a  pot  of  beer : 
Fr.,  moussante  :  see  Drinks. 

Gaudeamus.  A  feast,  drinking  bout, 
any  sort  of  merry-making.  [German 
students',  but  now  general  and  popu- 
lar.] From  the  first  word  of  the 
mediaeval  (students')  ditty. 

Gaudy  (or  Gaudy-day).  A  feast 
or  entertainment :  specifically  the 
annual  dinner  of  the  fellows  of  a 
college  in  memory  of  founders  or 
benefactors  ;  or  a  festival  of.  the  Inns 
of  Court  (Lat.,  gander  e,  to  rejoice). 
(1724).  As  adj.,  good,  frolicsome, 
festive :  cf.  Shakespeare's  '  Let's  have 
one  other  gaudy  night  ('Ant.  and  Cleo.,' 
m.  xiii.).  Neat  but  not  gaudy,  as  the 
devil  said,  of  ancient  ladies  dressed  in 
flaming  colours. 

Gauge.  See  Gage.  To  get  the 
gauge  of,  to  divine  an  intention,  to 
read  a  character,  to  Size  (or  Reckon) 
up  (q.v.).  Hence,  That's  about  the 
gauge  of  it,  That's  a  fair  descrip- 

Gauley.     See  By  golly. 

Gawf.     A  red-skinned  apple. 

Gawk.  A  simpleton,  especially 
an  awkward  fool,  male  or  female  :  see 
Buffle.  [Scots  Gowk,  a  cuckoo,  fool ; 
whence,  to  gowk,  to  play  the  fool.  As 
in  the  '  Derision  of  Wanton  Women ' 
(Bannatyne,  MS.,  1667),  '  To  gar  them 
ga  in  gucking,'  to  make  them  play  the 
fool.]  As  verb,  to  loiter  round  ;  to 
Play  the  goat.  [The  same  verb  is 
used  by  Jonson  (Magnetic  Lady,  iii. 
4,  1632)  in  the  sense  of  amazed,  or 
bamboozled,  i.e.  absolutely  befooled  : 


'  Nay,  look  how  the  man  stands,  as  he 
were   gowked  ! '] 

Gawkiness.  Awkwardness,  silli- 
ness, Greenness  (q.v.). 

Gawking.  Loitering  and  staring, 
Gathering  hayseed  (q.v.). 

Gawky.  An  awkward  booby,  a 
fool :  e.g.  Now  squire  gawky,  a  chal- 
lenge to  a  clumsy  lout :  see  Buffle 
(1686).  As  adj.,  lanky,  awkward, 
stupid  (1759). 

Gawney  (or  Goney).  A  fool :  see 

Gay.  1.  Dissipated,  specifically, 
given  to  venery :  as  in  the  French, 
avoir  la  cuisse  gate.  Hence  Qay 
woman  (girl,  or  bit),  a  strumpet ;  Gay 
house,  a  brothel ;  To  be  gay,  to  be  in 
continent,  etc.,  etc.  (1383).  2.  In 
drink :  see  Screwed.  All  gay  (or 
all  so  gay),  all  right,  first-rate,  All 
serene  (q.v.).  To  feel  gay,  inclined  for 

Gay-tyke  Boy.     A  dog  fancier. 

Gazebo.  A  summer-house  com- 
manding an  extensive  view.  [Dog- 
Latin,  Gazebo,  I  will  gaze.] 

Geach.     A  thief. 

Gear.  Work,  Business  (q.v.).  Thus: 
Here's  goodly  gear,  Here's  fine  doings  ; 
Here's  a  pretty  kettle  of  fish  ('  Romeo 
and  Juliet,'  n.  ii.  106). 

Gee.  See  Gee-gee.  As  verb,  (1) 
to  go  or  turn  to  the  off -side ;  used  as  a 
direction  to  horses.  (2)  To  move 
faster :  as  a  teemster  to  his  horses, 
Gee-up!  (3)  To  stop:  as  Gee 
whoa !  To  gee  with,  to  agree  with, 
fit,  be  congenial,  go  on  all  fours  with, 
do  (1696). 

Gee-gee  (or  Gee).  1.  A  horse :  see 
Prad.  2.  The  nickname  among  jour- 
nalists (of  the  interviewer  type)  of 
Mr.  G(eorge)  G(rossmith),  better 
known,  perhaps,  as  the  Society  Clown. 

Gee-gee  Dodge.  Selling  horseflesh 
for  beef. 

Geekie.     A  police-station.  \ 

Geeloot.     See  Galoot 

Geese.  All  his  geese  are  auxins, 
he  habitually  exaggerates,  or  Embroi- 
ders (q.v.) ;  or,  He  is  always  wrong  in 
his  estimates  of  persons  and  things. 
The  old  woman's  picking  her  geese,  said 
of  a  snowstorm :  the  other  leg  of  the 
couplet  (schoolboys')  runs:  'And 
selling  the  feathers  a  penny  a  piece.' 
Like  geese  on  a  common,  wandering  in  a 
body,  aggressive  and  at  large :  e.g. 
as  Faddists  (q.v.)  in  pursuit  of  a 

Fad  ;  or  members  of  Parliament  in  re- 
cess, when  both  sides  go  about  to  say 
the  thing  which  is  in  them. 

Geewhilikens  1  An  exclamation  of 
surprise :  also  Jeewhilikens. 

Geezer.  An  appellation,  some- 
times, but  not  necessarily,  of  derision 
and  contempt ;  applied  to  both  sexes, 
but  generally  to  women  :  usually,  Old 

Gelding.  A  eunuch.  To  enter 
for  the  geldings'  stakes,  to  castrate  a 
man  ;  also  used  to  describe  a  eunuch. 

Gelt  Money,  Gilt  (q.v.),  Gelter : 
generic:  see  Rhino. 

Gemini  !  (Geminy  !  or  Jiminy  !) 
An  exclamation  of  surprise,  a  mild 
oath  :  also  O  Jimminy  !  O  Jimminy 
Figs  !  O  Jimminy  Gig !  etc.  :  for 
the  phrase  has  pleased  the  cockney 
mind,  and  been  vulgarised  accordingly 

Gemman.  A  contraction  of  gentle- 
man (1550). 

Gen.  A  shilling  :  see  Rhino.  Back 
slang,  but  cf.  Fr.,  argent.} 

Generalize.  A  shilling  :  see 
Rhino  and  Gen. 

Geneva  Print  Gin  :  see  Drinks  and 
Satin  (1584). 

G  e  n  -  n  e  t  (back  slang).  Ten 

Gennitraf  (back  slang).  A 

Genol  (back  slang).     Long. 

Gent  1.  A  showily-dressed  vul- 
garian. [A  contraction  of  gentle- 
man.] (1635).  2.  Money:  see 
Rhino  [Fr.,  argent.}  3.  A  sweetheart, 
mistress  :  e.g.  My  gent,  my  particular 
friend.  As  adj.,  elegant,  comely, 
genteel  (1383). 

Gentile.  Any  sort  of  stranger, 
native  or  foreign ;  among  the  Mormons, 
any  person  not  professing  the  Gospel 
according  to  Joe  Smith.  Hence,  In 
the  land  of  the  Gentiles,  (1)  in  foreign 
parts  ;  and  (2)  in  strange  neighbour- 
hoods or  alien  society. 

Gentle.  A  maggot ;  vulgarly, 

Gentle-craft  1.  Shoemaking. 
[From  the  romance  of  Prince  Crispin.] 
2.  Angling. 

Gentleman.  A  crowbar  :  see 
Jemmy.  To  put  a  churl  (or  beggar) 
upon  a  gentleman,  to  drink  malt  liquor 
immediately  after  wine  (Grose). 
Gentleman  of  the  (three,  four,  or  five) 
outs  (or  ins),  a  varying  and  ancient 


Gentleman  Commoner. 


wheeze,  of  which  the  following  are 
representative  : — Out  of  money,  and 
out  of  clothes  ;  Out  at  the  heels,  and 
out  at  the  toes  ;  Out  of  credit,  and  in 
debt.  A  man  in  debt,  in  danger,  and 
in  poverty ;  or  in  gaol  indicted, 
and  in  danger  of  being  hanged.  Out 
of  pocket,  out  of  elbows,  and  out 
of  credit.  Without  wit,  without 
money,  without  manners.  Gentleman 
of  fortune,  an  adventurer.  Oentleman 
of  observation,  a  tout.  Gentleman  of 
the  round,  an  invalided  or  disabled 
soldier,  making  his  living  by  begging 
(1596).  Gentleman  of  the  short  staff,  a 
constable.  Gentleman  of  the  fist,  a 
prize-fighter.  Gentleman  in  brown,  a 
bed  bug :  see  Norfolk  Howard.  The 
little  gentleman  in  brown  velvet,  a  mole. 
[The  Tory  toast  after  the  death  of 
William  III.,  whose  horse  was  said  to 
have  stumbled  over  a  mole  hill.]  Gen- 
tleman of  the  green  baize  road,  a  card 

Gentleman  Commoner.  1.  A 
privileged  class  of  commoners  at 
Oxford,  wearing  a  special  cut  of 
gown  and  a  velvet  cap.  2.  An  empty 
bottle;  also  Fellow-commoner  (q.v.). 
Gentleman  -  ranker.  A  broken 
gentleman  serving  in  the  ranks. 

Gentleman  's-companion.  A  louse : 
see  Chates. 

Gentleman's  -  master.  A  high- 
wayman (Grose). 

Gentleman's    (or  Ladies'-)  piece. 
A  small  or  delicate  portion,  a  Tit-bit. 
Gentlemen's  -  sons.      The     three 
regiments  of  Guards. 

Gently  !  An  interjection,  Stand 
still  (q.v.) ;  hence,  colloquially,  don't 
get  into  a  passion,  Go  slow  (q.v.). 

Gentry-cove  (or  cofe).  A  gentle- 
man, Nib-cove  (q.v.) :  Fr.,  messire  de 
la  haute  (1567). 

Gentry-cove's  Ken  (Gentry-ken). 
A  gentleman's  house  (1567). 
Gentry-mort.    A  lady  (1567). 
Genuine    (Winchester   College). 
Praise.     As    adj.,    trustworthy,    not 
false    nor    double-faced.     As     verb, 
to   praise.     He   was   awfully   quilled 
and  genuined  my  task. 

G  e  o  r  d  i  e  (North  Country).  1. 
A  pitman ;  also  (generally),  a  North- 
umbrian. 2.  A  North-country  col- 
lier. 3.  See  George. 

George  (or  Geordie).  1.  A  half- 
crown  :  also  (obsolete),  the  noble  (6s. 
8d.),  temp.  Henry  VIII.  2.  A  guinea  : 

also  Yellow  George  :  see  Rhino.  3.  A 
penny :  see  Rhino.  Brown  George. 
See  Ante.  By  fore  (or  By  George). 
See  By  George. 

George  Home.  A  derisive  retort 
on  a  piece  of  stale  news  :  also  G.  H.  ! 
[From  a  romancing  compositor  of  the 

Georgy-porgy.  To  pet,  fondle,  be- 

German.  The  German,  a  round 

German  Duck.  1.  Half  a  sheep's 
head,  stewed  with  onions  (Grose).  2. 
A  bed  bug  :  see  Norfolk  Howard. 

German  -  flutes  (rhyming).  A 
pair  of  boots. 

Germantowner.  A  pushing  shot — 
when  balls  in  play  jar  together :  cf. 

Gerry.     Excrement  (1567). 

Gerry  Gan.  A  retort  forcible, 
Stow  it !  (q.v.)  (1567). 

Gerrymander  (the  g  hard  as  in 
get).  To  arrange  the  electoral  sub- 
divisions of  a  State  to  the  profit  and 
advantage  of  a  particular  party.  The 
term,  says  Norton,  is  derived  from  the 
name  of  Governor  Gerry,  of  Massa- 
chusetts, who,  in  1811,  signed  a  Bill  re- 
adjusting the  representative  districts 
so  as  to  favour  the  Democrats  and 
weaken  the  Federalists,  although  the 
last-named  party  polled  nearly  two- 
thirds  of  the  votes  cast.  A  fancied 
resemblance  of  a  map  of  the  districts 
thus  treated  led  Stuart,  the  painter,  to 
add  a  few  lines  with  his  pencil,  and  say 
to  Mr.  Russell,  editor  of  the  Boston 
Sentinel,  '  That  will  do  for  a  Sala- 
mander.' Russell  glanced  at  it : 
'  Salamander,'  said  he,  '  call  it  a 
Gerrymander  ! '  The  epithet  took  at 
once,  and  became  a  Federalist  war- 
cry,  the  caricature  being  published  as 
a  campaign  document. 

Gerund-grinder.  A  schoolmaster, 
especially  a  pedant  (1759). 

Get.  1.  A  cheating  contrivance, 
a  Have  (q.v.).  2.  A  child  :  e.g.  One 
of  his  gets,  one  of  his  making  ;  Whose 
get  is  that  ?  who's  the  father  ?  It's 
his  get,  anyhow ;  at  all  events  he  got  it 
( 1570).  Get  I  (or  You  get .')  Short  for 
Get  out !  Usually,  Git !  To  get  at, 

(1)  to  quiz,  banter,  aggravate,  take  a 
rise   out  of :    also   To   get  back   at. 

(2)  To    influence,    bribe,   nobble   (of 
horses),  and  to  corrupt  (of  persons) : 
applied  to  horse,  owner,  trainer,  jockey, 



and  vet.  alike.  To  get  back  at,  to 
satirise,  call  to  account.  Get  back 
into  your  box  I  an  injunction  to  silence, 
Stow  it!  (q.v.).  To  get  encored,  to 
have  a  job  returned  for  alterations. 
To  get  even  with,  to  take  one's  revenge, 
give  tit  for  tat.  To  get  it,  to  be 
punished  (morally  or  physically),  to 
be  called  over  the  coals.  To  get  off, 
to  (1)  escape  punishment,  be  let  off ; 
(2)  to  utter,  deliver  oneself  of,  per- 
petrate— as  to  get  off  a  joke ;  and  (3) 
get  married.  To  get  on,  (I)  to  back  a 
horse,  put  a  Bit  on  (q.v.).  (2)  To 
succeed,  or,  simply,  to  fare.  Thus, 
How  are  you  getting  on  ?  may  signify 
( 1 )  To  what  extent  are  you  prospering  ? 
or  (2)  How  are  you  doing  ?  To  get  one 
in  the  cold,  to  have  at  an  advantage, 
be  on  the  Windward  side  ( q.  v. ).  Have 
on  toast  (q.v.).  To  get  one  on,  to 
land  a  blow.  To  get  down  fine  (or 
close),  to  know  all  about  one's  ante- 
cedents ;  and  (police)  know  where  to 
find  one's  man.  To  get  over,  to  seduce, 
fascinate,  dupe  :  also  To  come  over  and 
To  get  round.  To  get  outside  of,  to 
eat  or  drink,  accomplish  one's  pur- 
pose. To  get  out  of  bed  on  the  wrong 
aide,  to  be  testy  or  cross-grained. 
[A  corruption  of  an  old  saying,  To  rise 
on  the  right  side  is  accounted  lucky  ; 
hence  the  reverse  meant  trials  to 
temper,  patience,  and  luck.]  (1607). 
To  get  out  (or  round),  to  back  a  horse 
against  which  one  has  previously  laid, 
Hedge  (q.v.).  To  get  set,  (1)  to  warm 
to  one's  work,  get  one's  eye  well  in. 
To  get  there,  to  attain  one's  object, 
succeed,  make  one's  Jack  (q.v.), 
To  get  there  with  both  feet,  to  be  very 
successful ;  (2)  to  get  drunk :  see 
Screwed.  To  get  through,  to  pass  an 
examination,  to  accomplish.  To  get  up 
and  dust,  to  depart  hastily :  see  Ske- 
daddle. To  get  up  behind  (or  get 
behind)  a  man,  to  endorse  or  back  a 
bill.  To  get  up  the  mail,  to  find 
money  (as  counsel's  fees,  etc.)  for 
defence.  Oct  enters  into  many  other 
combinations  :  see  Back  teeth,  Bag  or 
Sack,  Bead,  Beans,  Beat,  Big  bird,  and 
Goose,  Big  head,  Billet,  Bit,  Boat, 
Bolt,  Books,  Bulge,  Bullet,  Bull's 
feather,  Crockette,  Dander  and  Mon- 
key, Dark,  Drop,  Eye,  Flannels,  Flint, 
Game,  Grand  Bounce,  Gravel  -  rash, 
Grind,  Grindstone,  Hand,  Hang,  Hat, 
Head,  Hip  or  Hop,  Home,  Horn,  Hot, 
Jack,  Keen,  Length  of  one's  foot, 

Measure,  Mitten,  Needle,  Religion, 
Rise,  Run,  Scot,  Swot  or  Scrape,  Set, 
Shut  of,  Silk,  Snuff,  Straight,  Sun, 
Ticket  of  Leave,  Wool,  Wrong  box.] 

Getaway.  A  locomotive  or  train, 
Puffer  (q.v.). 

Getter.  A  sure  getter,  a  procreant 

Get-up.  Drees,  constitution 
and  appearance,  disguise :  see  Get-up. 
As  verb,  phr.,  (1)  to  prepare  (a  part, 
a  paper,  a  case) ;  (2)  to  arrange  (a 
concert) ;  (3)  to  dress  (as  Got  up 
regardless  (to  the  nines,  knocker, 
to  kill,  within  an  inch  of  one's  life) ; 
(4)  to  disguise  (as  a  sailor,  a  soldier, 
Henry  VIII.,  a  butcher,  a  nun) :  see 
also  Get  into. 

G.H.     See  George  Home. 

Ghastly.  Very :  a  popular  inten- 
sitive  :  cf.  Awful,  Bloody,  etc. 

Ghost.  One  who  secretly  does 
artistic  or  literary  work  for  another 
who  takes  the  credit  and  receives  the 
price :  cf.  DeviL  [The  term  was 
popularised  during  the  trial  of  Lawes 
v.  Belt  in  188(?).]  As  verb,  to  prowl, 
spy  upon,  shadow  (q.v.).  The  ghost 
walks  (or  does  not  walk),  there  is  (or  is 
not)  money  in  the  treasury.  The 
ghost  of  a  chance,  the  faintest  likeli- 
hood, or  the  slightest  trace :  e.g.  He 
hasn't  the  ghost  of  a  chance. 

Ghoul.  1.  A  spy  ;  specifically  a 
man  who  preys  on  married  women 
who  addict  themselves  to  assignation 
houses.  2.  A  newspaper  chronicler  of 
the  small  talk  and  tittle-tattle. 

Gib.  1.  Gibraltar :  once  a  penal 
station  :  whence,  2.  a  gaol.  To  hang 
one's  gib,  to  pout :  see  Jib. 

Gibberish  (Gebberish,  Gibberidge, 
Gibrige,  etc. ).  Originally  the  lingo  of 
gipsies,  beggars,  etc.  Now,  any  kind 
of  inarticulate  nonsense  (1594). 

Gibble-gabble.  Nonsense,  Gibber- 
ish (q.v.)  (1600). 

Gib-cat.  A  tom-cat.  [An  ab- 
breviation of  Gilbert^  0.  FT.,  Tibert 
the  cat  in  the  fable  of  Reynard  the 
Fox.]  (1360). 

Gibe.  To  go  well  with,  be  accept- 

Gibel.     To  bring. 

Gib-face.  A  heavy  jowl,  Ugly-mug 

Giblets.  1.  The  intestines  gen- 
erally, the  Manifold  (q.v.).  2.  A  fat 
man,  Forty-guts  (q.v.) :  also  Duke  of 
Giblets.  To  fret  one's  giblets:  see  Fret. 




Gibraltar.  A  party  stronghold : 
e.g.  the  Gibraltar  of  Democracy 

Gibson  (or  Sir  John  Gibson). 
A  rest  to  support  the  body  of  a  build- 
ing coach. 

Gibus.  An  opera,  or  crush  hat : 
Fr.,  accordeon.  [From  the  name  of  the 

Giddy.  Flighty,  wanton :  e.g. 
To  play  the  giddy  goat,  to  live  a  fast 
life,  be  happy-go-lucky. 

Giffle-gaffle.  Nonsense  ;  a  variant 
of  Gibble-gabble  (q.v.). 

Gif-gaf  (or  Giff-gaff).  A 
bargain  on  equal  terms  :  whence  the 
proverb  :  Gif-gaf  makes  guid  friens  : 
Fr.,  Posse-mot  la  casse  et  je  t'enverrai 
la  senne. 

Gift.  1.  Anything  lightly  gained 
or  easily  won.  2.  A  white  speck  on 
the  finger  nails,  supposed  to  portend 
a  gift.  3.  See  Gift-house.  As  full  of 
gifts  as  a  brazen  horse  of  farts,  mean, 
miserly,  disinclined  to  Part  (q.v.). 
Gift  of  the  gab  :  see  Gab. 

Gift-house  (or  Gift).  A  club, 
a  house  of  call ;  specifically  for  the 
purpose  of  finding  employment,  or 
providing  allowances  to  members. 

Gig  (Gigg,  Gigge).  1.  A  wanton, 
mistress,  flighty  girl :  cf.  Giglet.  2. 
A  jest,  piece  of  nonsense,  anything 
fanciful  or  frivolous  :  hence,  generally, 
in  contempt  (1590).  3.  The  nose  :  see 
Conk.  To  snitcheU  the  gig,  to  pull  the 
nose.  Grunter's  gig,  a  hog's  snout. 
4.  A  light  two-wheeled  vehicle  drawn 
by  one  horse  :  now  recognised.  5.  A 
door  :  see  Gigger.  6.  A  fool,  an  over- 
dressed person  :  see  Buffle.  7.  Fun, 
frolic,  a  spree.  Full  of  gig,  full  of 
laughter,  ripe  for  mischief.  8.  The 
mouth :  see  Potato-trap.  9.  A  far- 
thing :  see  Rhino.  10.  See  Policy 
dealing.  As  verb,  to  hamstring.  By 
gigs  !  an  oath  (1551). 

Gigamaree.  A  thing  of  little 
worth,  a  pretty  but  useless  toy,  a 
Gimcrack  (q.v.). 

Gigantomachize.  To  rise  in  revolt 
against  one's  betters :  Gr.,  Oiganto- 
machia,  the  War  of  the  Giants  against 
the  Gods.  [Probably  a  coinage  of 
Ben  Jonson's.] 

Gigger.  LA  sewing  machine. 
[In  allusion  to  noise  and  movement). 
2.  See  Jigger. 

Giggles  -  nest.  Have  you  found  a 
giggles-nest  ?  Asked  of  one  tittering, 

or  given  to  immoderate  or  senseless 

Gig  -  lamps.  1.  Spectacles  :  see 
Barnacles.  2.  One  who  wears  spec- 
tacles, a  Four  eyes  (q.v. ).  [Popularised 
by  Verdant  Green.] 

G  i  g  1  e  r  (Giglet,  Goglet,  Gigle, 
Gig).  A  wanton,  a  mistress. 
Giglet  (West  of  England),  a  giddy, 
romping  girl ;  and  in  Salop  a  flighty 
person  is  called  a  Giggle  (1533).  As 
adj.,  loose  in  word  and  deed  :  also 
Giglet-like,  and  Giglet-wise,  like  a 
wanton  (1598). 

Gild.  To  make  drunk,  flush  with 
drink  (1609).  To  gild  the,  pill,  to  say 
(or  do)  unpleasant  things  as  gently 
as  may  be,  impose  upon,  Bamboozle 

Gilded-rooster.  A  man 
of  importance  ;  a  Howling  swell  (q.v.) ; 
sometimes  the  Gilded  rooster  on  the 
top  of  the  steeple :  cf.  Big- bug,  Big 
dog  of  the  tanyard,  etc. 

G  i  1  d  e  r  o  y 's  -k  i  t  e.  To  be  hung 
higher  than  GUderoy's  kite,  to  be 
punished  more  severely  than  the  very 
worst  criminals,  The  greater  the 
crime  the  higher  the  gallows,  was  at 
one  time  a  practical  legal  axiom. 
Hence,  out  of  sight,  completely  gone. 

Giles'  Greek.  See  St.  Giles' 

G  i  1  g  u  y.  Anything  which  hap- 
pens to  have  slipped  the  memory  ; 
equivalent  to  What's  -  his  -  name  or 

Gilkes.      Skeleton  keys  (1610). 

Gill  (or  Jill).  1.  A  girl  ;  (1)  a 
sweetheart :  e.g.  every  Jack  must  have 
his  Gill ;  (2)  a  wanton,  a  strumpet  (an 
abbreviation  of  Gillian)  (1586).  2. 
a  drink,  a  Go  (q.v. ).  3.  (in  pi.  g  hard). 
The  mouth,  jaws,  or  face  :  see  Potato- 
trap  (1622).  4.  in.  pi.  A  very  large 
shirt  collar ;  also  Stick-ups  and  Side- 
boards: Fr.,  cache-bonbon- d-liqueur.  To 
grease  the  gills,  to  have  a  good  meal, 
to  Wolf  (q.v.).  To  look  blue  (queer,  or 
green)  about  the  gill-s,  to  be  downcast, 
dejected ;  also  to  suffer  from  the 
effects  of  a  debauch.  Hence,  con- 
versely, To  be  rosy  about  the  gills, 
to  be  cheerful.  A  cant  (or  dig)  in  the 
gills,  a  punch  in  the  face. 

Gill-flirt.    A  wanton,  flirt  (1598). 

Gilly.     A  fool :  see  Buffle. 

Gilly  -  gaupus.  A  tall,  loutish 

Gilt.       1.   Money  :  generic  :  see 




Rhino.  [Ger.  :  Geld  ;  Du.  :  Gelt.]  2. 
A  thief, pick-lock;  also  Gilt-  (or  rum-) 
clubber,  gilter,  etc.  3.  Formerly  a 
pick-lock  or  skeleton  key ;  now  a 
crow-bar:  see  Jemmy  (1671).  To 
take  the  gilt  off  the  gingerbread,  to 
destroy  an  illusion,  discount  heavily. 

Gilt-dubber.     See  Gilt,  sense  2. 

Gilt  -  edged.  First-class,  the  best 
of  its  kind  :  see  Fizzing. 

Gilter.     See  Gilt,  sense  2. 

Gilt-tick.     Gold  :  see  Rhino. 

G  i  m  b  a  1-  (or  gimber-)  jawed. 
Loquacious,  talking  Nineteen  to  the 
dozen  (q.v.).  [Gimbals  are  a  com- 
bination of  rings  for  free  suspension.] 

Gimcrack  (Gincrack,  or  Jim- 
crack).  1.  A  showy  simpleton, 
male  or  female  :  see  Buffle  (1618).  2. 
A  showy  trifle,  anything  pretty  but  of 
little  worth  (1632).  3.  A  handy  man, 
Jack  -  of  -  all  -  trades  (q.v.).  As  adj., 
trivial,  showy,  worthless. 

Gimcrackery.  The  world  of  Jim- 
crack  (q.v.). 

Gimlet-eye.  A  squint-eye, 
Piercer  (q.v.) :  Fr.,  des  yeux  en  trou  de 

Gimlet-eyed.  Squinting,  or 
squinny-eyed,  cock-eyed :  as  in  the 
old  rhyme  :  Gimlet  eye,  sausage  nose, 
Hip  awry,  bandy  toes. 

G  i  m  m  e  r.  An  old  woman  :  a 
variant  of  cummer. 

Gin.  1.  An  Australian  native 
woman.  2.  An  old  woman :  see  Geezer. 
To  gin  up,  to  work  hard,  make  things 
Hum  (q.v.):  see  Wire  in. 

Gin  -  and  -  Gospel  Gazette.  The 
Morning  Advertiser :  as  the  organ  of 
the  Licensed  Victualling  and  Church 
of  England  party :  also  the  Tap-tub 
and  Beer-ana- Bible  Gazette. 

Gin  -  and  -  tidy.  Decked  out  in 
best  bib  and  tucker :  a  pun  on  neat 

Gin-crawl.     A  tipple  (q.v.)  on  gin. 

Gingambobs  (or  Jiggumbobs). 
Toys,  baubles  (1696). 

Ginger.  1.  A  showy  horse,  a 
beast  that  looks  Figged  (q.v.).  2. 
A  red-haired  person ;  Carrota  (q.v.). 
[Whence  the  phrase,  Black  for  beauty, 
ginger  for  pluck.]  3.  Spirit,  dash, 
Go  (q.v.).  To  want  ginger,  to  lack 
energy  and  Pluck  (q.v.).  As  adj., 
red-haired,  Foxy  (q.v.),  Judas-haired 
(q.v.);  also  ginger-pated,  ginger- 
hackled,  and  gingery  (1785). 

Gingerbread.     1.  Money:  e.g.  He 

has  the  gingerbread,  he  is  rich  (1696). 
2.  Brummagem  (q.v.),  showy,  but 
worthless  ware.  As  adj.  showy 
but  worthless,  tinsel :  Fr.,  en  pain 
d"epice.  Gingerbread  work  (nauti- 
cal), carved  and  gilded  decorations ; 
Gingerbread  quarters  (nautical),  lux- 
urious living  (1757).  To  take  the  gilt 
off  the  gingerbread  :  see  Gilt. 

Gingerly  (old :  now  recognised) 
delicate,  fastidious,  dainty,  as  adv., 
with  great  care,  softly  (1533). 

Ginger  -  pop.  1.  Ginger- beer.  2. 
(rhyming),  A  policeman,  Slop  (q.v.). 

Ginger-snap.  A  hot-tempered  per- 
son, especially  one  with  carroty  hair. 

Gingham.  An  umbrella ;  speci- 
fically one  of  this  material :  see  Mush- 

Gingle  -  boy.  A  coin  ;  latterly  a 
gold  piece :  also  ginglers :  see  Rhino 

Gin-lane  (or  Trap).  1.  The  throat: 
see  Gutter-alley.  Gin- trap  also  =  the 
mouth:  see  Potato-trap  (1827).  2. 
Generic  for  drunkenness. 

Gin-mill.  A  drinking  saloon  :  see 

Ginnified.  Dazed,  stupid  with 

Ginnums.  An  old  woman  :  spec, 
one  fond  of  drink. 

Ginny.  A  housebreaker's  tool ;  an 
instrument  to  lift  up  a  grate  or  grating 

Gin-penny.  Extra  profit :  gener- 
ally spent  in  drink. 

Gin-slinger.  A  tippler  on  gin  :  see 

Gin  -  spinner.  A  distiller;  a 
dealer  in  spirituous  liquors :  cf.  Ale- 
spinner  (1785). 

Gin-twist.  A  drink  composed  of 
gin  and  sugar,  with  lemon  and  water 

Gip.  1.  A  thief.  2.  (Cambridge 
University)  a  college  servant :  see 


Girl-and-boy.     A  saveloy. 

Girl-getter.  A  mincing,  womanish 

Girl  -  show.  A  ballet,  burlesque, 
Leg-j>iece  (q.v.). 

Git !  (or  You  Git ! )  Be  off  with  you ! 
an  injunction  to  immediate  departure, 
Walker !  (q.v.).  Sometimes  a  con- 
traction of  Get  out !  Also  Get  out 
and  dust  (1851).  To  hare  no  git  up 
and  git,  to  be  weak,  vain,  mean,  slow 
— generally  deprecatory. 




Give.  'l^To  lead  to,  conduct,  open 
upon  :  e.g.  The  door  gave  upon  tiie 
str§eji.  Cf.  French,  aonner.  (£>  Ah 
aff  round  auxiliary  to  active  verbs : 
e.g.  To  give  on  praying,  to  excel  at 
prayer ;  To  give  on  the  make,  to  be 
clever  at  making  money,  etc.  To  give 
it  to,  (1)  to  rob,  defraud  (Grose) ;  (2)  to 
scold,  thrash  :  also  To  give  what  for, 
To  give  it  hot,  To  give  something  for 
oneself,  To  give  one  in  the  eye,  etc.  : 
Fr.,  oiler  en  donner  (1612).  To  give 
in  (or  out),  to  admit  defeat,  yield,  be 
exhausted  throw  up  the  sponge 
(1748);  to  give  away,  to  betray  or 
expose  inadvertently,  Blow  upon 
(q.v.),  Peach  (q.v.) :  also  to  Give 
dead  away :  largely  used  in  com- 
bination :  e.g.  give-away,  an  ex- 
posure ;  give-away  cue,  an  underhand 
revelation  of  secrets ;  to  give  one  best, 
(1)  to  acknowledge  inferiority,  defeat : 
also  (thieves')  to  leave,  To  cut  (q.v.) ; 
to  give  the  collar,  to  seize,  arrest, 
Collar  (q.v.) :  see  Nab ;  to  give  the 
bullet  (sack,  bag,  kick-out,  pike,  road, 
etc. ),  to  discharge  from  an  employ ; 
give  us  a  rest !  cease  talking  !  an  in- 
junction upon  a  bore  ;  to  give,  nature,  a 
fillip,  verb.  phr.  (old),  to  indulge,  in 
wine,  etc.  (1696).  Other  combina- 
tions will  be  found  under  the  following ; 
Auctioneer,  Back  cap,  Bag,  Bail, 
Baste,  Beans,  Beef,  Biff,  Black  eye, 
Bone,  Bucket,  Bullet,  Bull's  feather, 
Clinch,  Double,  Fig,  Gas,  Go  by, 
Gravy,  Hoist,  Hot  beef,  Jesse,  Ken- 
nedy, Key  of  the  Street,  Land,  Leg 
up,  Lip,  Miller,  Mitten,  Mouth, 
Needle,  Office,  Points,  Pussy,  Rub  of 
the  thumb,  Sack,  Sky-high,  Slip, 
Tail,  Taste  of  Cream,  Turnips,  Weight, 
White  alley,  Word. 

Giver.  A  good  boxer,  an  artist  in 
punishment  (q.v.)  (1824). 

G  i  x  i  e.  A  wanton,  strumpet, 
affected  mincing  woman  (1598). 

Gizzard.  To  fret  one's  gizzard,  to 
worry ;  To  stick  in  one's  gizzard,  to 
remain  as  something  unpleasant  (dis- 
tasteful or  offensive),  be  hard  of 
digestion,  disagreeable  or  unpalat- 
able ;  To  grumble  in  the  gizzard,  to  be 
secretly  displeased ;  Hence,  Grumble- 
gizzard  (q.v.). 

Gladstone.  1.  Cheap  claret  (Mr. 
Gladstone,  when  in  office  in  1869, 
reduced  the  duty  on  French  wines) : 
see  Drinks.  2.  A  travelling  bag 
(named  in  honour  of  Mr.  Gladstone). 

Gladstonize.  To  talk  about  and 
round,  evade,  prevaricate,  speak 
much  and  mean  nothing. 

Glanthorne.  Money  :  see  Rhino. 

Glasgow  Greys.  The  70th  Foot, 
now  the  2nd  battalion  East  Surrey 
regiment :  in  the  beginning  it  was 
largely  recruited  in  Glasgow. 

Glasgow  Magistrate.  A  herring, 
fresh  or  salted,  of  the  finest  (from 
the  practice  of  sending  samples  to  the 
Bailie  of  the  River  for  approval) :  also 
Glasgow  bailie.  English  synonyms 
(for  herrings  generally);  Atlantic 
ranger,  Californian,  Cornish  duck, 
Digby  chicken,  Dunbar  wether,  gen- 
darme, Gourock  ham,  magistrate, 
pheasant,  (or  Billingsgate  pheasant), 
reds,  sea-rover,  soldier,  Taunton 
turkey,  two-eyed  steak,  Yarmouth 
capon :  Fr.,  gendarme. 

Glass.  An  hour  :  an  abbreviation  of 
hour-glass.  There's  a  deal  of  glass 
about,  (1)  applied  to  vulgar  display, 
It's  the  thing  (q.v.) ;  (2)  said  in  answer 
to  an  achievement  in  assertion :  a 
memory  of  the  proverb,  People  who 
live  in  glass  houses  should  not  throw 
stones.  Who's  to  pay  for  the  broken 
glass  ?  (stand  the  racket) ;  been 
looking  through  a  glass,  drunk :  see 

Glass-eyes.  A  man  wearing  spec- 
tacles, Four-eyes  (q.v.),  Gig-lamps 
(q.v.)  (1811). 

Glass-house.  To  live  in  a  glass 
house,  to  lay  oneself  open  to  attack 
or  adverse  criticism. 

Glass-work.  An  obsolete  method 
of  cheating  at  cards  :  a  convex  mirror 
the  size  of  a  small  coin  was  fastened 
with  shellac  to  the  lower  corner  of  the 
left  palm  opposite  the  thumb,  enabling 
the  dealer  to  ascertain  by  reflection 
the  value  of  the  cards  he  dealt. 

Glaze.  A  window  (1696).  As 
verb,  to  cheat  at  cards  by  means  of 
glass-work  (q.v.),  or  by  means  of  a 
mirror  at  the  back  of  one's  antagonist. 
To  mill  (or  star  a  glaze),  to  break  a 
window  (1823) ;  on  the  glaze,  robbing 
jewellers'  shops  by  smashing  the 
windows:  see  Glazier  (1724). 

Glazier.  1.  The  eye :  see  Glims  :  Fr., 
les  ardents  ( 1567).  2.  A  window  thief  : 
see  Thief. 

Gleaner.  A  thief  (q.v.):  cf. 
Hooker,  Angler,  etc. 

Glib.      The   tongue :    e.g.   Slacken 




your  glib,  loose  your  tongue :  aee 
Clack.  2.  A  ribbon  (1754).  As  adj., 
smooth,  slippery,  voluble ;  Ql\b- 
tongued  (or  Glib-gabbit),  talkative, 
ready  of  speech  (1605). 

Glibe.  Writing ;  spec,  a  written 

Glim  (or  Glym).  1.  A  candle,  dark 
lanthorn,  fire,  or  light  of  any  kind. 
To  douse  the  glim,  to  put  out  the  light : 
FT.,  estourbir  la  cabande ;  also  short  for 
Glimmer  or  Glymmar(q.v.)(  1696).  2. 
A  sham  account  of  a  fire,  sold  by  the 
Flying  stationers  (q.v.).  3.  In  pi.,  the 
eyes.  English  synonyms :  blinkers, 
daylights,  deadlights,  glaziers,  lights, 
lamps,  ogles,  optics,  orbs,  peepers, 
sees,  squmters,  toplights,  windows, 
winkers.  4.  In.  pi.,  a  pair  of  spectacles, 
Barnacles  (q.v.).  As  verb,  to  brand, 
burn  in  the  hand  (1696).  To  puff 
the  glims,  to  fill  the  hollow  over  the 
eyes  of  old  horses  by  pricking  the  skin 
and  blowing  air  into  the  loose  tissues 
underneath,  thus  giving  the  full  effect 
of  youth. 

Glim-fenders.  1.  Andirons,  fire- 
dogs  (1696).  2.  Handcuffs  (a  pun  on 
sense  1). 

G 1  i  m  fl  a  s  h  1  y  (or  Glim-flashey ). 
Angry  :  see  Nab  the  Rust  (1696). 

Glim  -  jack.  A  link  boy,  Moon- 
curser  (q.v.) ;  but,  in  any  sense,  a 
thief  (1696). 

Glim -lurk.  A  beggars'  petition, 
based  on  a  fictitious  fire  or  Glim 
(sense  2). 

Glimmer  (Glymmar).    Fire. 

Glimmerer.  A  beggar  working 
with  a  petition  giving  out  that  he  is 
ruined  by  fire  :  also  Glimmering  mort, 
a  female  glimmerer  (1696). 

Glimstick.  A  candlestick :  Fr., 

Glister.  Glister  of  fish  hooks,  a 
glass  of  Irish  whisky. 

Glistner.  A  sovereign :  20s. :  see 

Gloak  (or  Gloach).  A  man :  see 
Chum  and  Cove. 

Globe.  1.  A  pewter  pot,  pewter 
(1704).  2.  In.  pi.,  the  paps:  see 

Globe-rangers.  The  Royal  Marines. 

Globe-trotter.  A  traveller  ;  prim- 
arily one  who  races  from  place  to  place, 
with  the  object  of  covering  ground 
or  making  a  record  :  Fr.,  pacquelineur. 
Whence,  Olobe-trotting,  travelling  after 
the  manner  of  Globe-trotters  (q.v.). 

G 1  o  p  e  (Winchester  College).  To 
spit :  obsolete. 

Glorious.  Excited  with  drink, 
in  one's  altitudes,  Boozed :  see  Screwed 

Glorious-sinner.    A  dinner. 

Glory.  The  after  life,  Kingdom 
come  (q.v.):  usually,  the  coming 
glory.  In  one's  glory,  in  the  full  flush 
of  vanity,  pride,  taste,  notion,  or  idio- 

Gloves.  To  go  for  the  gloves,  to  bet 
recklessly,  bet  against  a  horse  without 
having  the  wherewithal  to  pay  if  one 
loses — the  last  resource  of  the  plung- 
ing turfite :  the  term  is  derived  from 
the  frequent  habit  of  ladies  to  bet  in 
pairs  of  gloves,  expecting  to  be  paid  if 
they  win,  but  not  to  be  called  upon  to 
pay  if  they  lose. 

Glow.     Ashamed. 

Glue.  Thick  soup :  which  sticks 
to  the  ribs.  English  synonyms:  de- 
ferred stock,  belly-gum,  giblets-twist, 
gut-concrete,  rib-tickler,  stick-in-the- 

Glue  -  pot  A  parson  :  see  Devil- 
dodger  and  Sky-pilot  (1785). 

Glum.  Sullen,  down  in  the  mouth, 
stern  :  Fr.,  faire  son  nez,  to  look  glum  ; 
also,  n'en  pas  mener  large  (1712). 

Glump.  To  sulk :  hence  glumpy, 
glumping,  and  glumpish,  sullen, 
stubborn  (1787). 

Glutman.  An  inferior  officer  of 
the  Customs,  and  particularly  a  super- 
numerary tide  waiter,  employed  temp- 
orarily when  there  is  a  stress  or 
hurry  of  business.  These  glutmen  were 
generally  without  regular  employment, 
and  also  without  character,  their  prin- 
cipal recommendation  the  fact  of  being 
able  to  write  (1797). 

Glutton.  1.  A  horse  which  lasts 
well,  Stayer  (q.v.).  2.  A  pugilist  who 
can  take  a  lot  of  punishment  (q.v.). 

Gnarler.     A  watch  dog. 

Gnasp.     To  vex:  see  Rile.    (1728). 

Gnoff.      See  Gonnof. 

Gnostic.  A  knowing  one,  Downy 
cove  (q.v.),  Whipster  (q.v.)  (1819).  As 
adj.,  knowing,  Artful  (q.v.) ;  whence 
Qnostically,  knowing. 

Go.  1.  A  drink ;  specifically  a 
quartern  of  gin  :  formerly  Go-down 
(1690).  English  synonyms:  bender, 
caulker,  coffin  nail,  common  -  sewer, 
cooler,  crack,  cry,  damp,  dandy,  dash, 
dewhank,  dewdrop,  dodger,  drain, 
dam,  facer,  falsh,  gargle,  gasp,  go- 




down,  hair  of  the  dog,  etc.,  Johnny, 
lip,  liquor  up,  livener,  lotion,  lounce, 
modest  quencher,  muzzier,  nail  from 
one's  coffin,  night-cap,  nip  or  nipper, 
nobbier,  old  crow,  a  one,  a  two,  or  a 
three  out,  peg,  pick-me-up,  pony, 
quencher,  reviver,  rince,  sensation, 
settler,  shift,  shove  in  the  mouth, 
slug,  small  cheque,  smile,  snifter, 
something  damp,  something  short, 
swig,  thimbleful,  tiddly,  top  up,  tot, 
warmer,  waxer,  wet,  whitewash,  yard. 

2.  An  incident,    occurrence :    e.g.    a 
Rum  go,  a  strange  affair,  queer  start ; 
a  Pretty  go,  a  startling   business ;    a 
Capital  go,  a  pleasant  business  (1803). 

3.  The  fashion,  the  Cheese  (q.v.),  the 
correct  thing  :  generally  in  the  phrase 
All  the  go.     4.   Life,   spirit,   energy, 
enterprise,    impetus :   e.g.    Plenty    of 
go,  full  of  spirit  and  dash :   Fr.,  du 
chien    (1825).     5.    A    turn,    attempt, 
chance  :  cf.  No  go  :  hence,  to  have  a  go 
at,  to  make  essay  of  anything :  as  a 
man  in  a  fight,  a  shot  at  billiards,  etc. 
6.  A  success  :  hence  To  make  a  go  of  it, 
to  bring  things  to  a  satisfactory  termin- 
ation.    7.  The  last  card  at  cribbage,  or 
the    last   piece   at   dominoes :    when 
a  player  is  unable  to  follow  the  lead, 
he  calls  a  Go  !     8.  A  dandy  (q.v.),  a 
very  heavy  swell,  one  in  the  extreme 
of  fashion.     As  verb,  (1)  to  vote,  be 
in  favour  of  :  cf.  Go  for  ;  (2)  to  succeed, 
achieve,  cf.  Go  down ;  (3)  to  wager, 
risk :    hence    to    stand    treat,    afford 
(1768) ;  (4)  to  ride  to  hounds ;  (5)  to  be 
pregnant,   to   be   anticipating    child- 
birth (1561).     Phrases:   Go  down,  (1) 
to  be  accepted,  received,  swallowed,  to 
Wash  (q.v.)  (1609) ;  (2)  to  be  under 
discipline,  rusticated  ;  (3)  to  become 
bankrupt ;  also,  To  go  under ;  To  go 
due  north,  to  go  bankrupt  (i.e.  to  go 
to    White-cross    Street   Prison,   once 
situate  in  north  London) ;  to  go  on 
the  dub,   to  house-break,   pick  locks 
(1696) ;  to  go  to  the  dogs,  to  go  to  ruin  ; 
to  go  off  on  the  ear,  to  get  angry,  fly  into 
a  tantrum  :  see  Nab  the  rust ;  to  go  for, 
(1)  to  attempt,  tackle,  resolve  upon, 
to  make  for  (q.v.) ;  (2)  to  attack  vio- 
lently and  directly,  by  word  or  deed ; 
(3)  to  support,  favour,  vote  for ;  (4) 
to  criticise  ;  specifically,  to  run  down  ; 
to  go  in  for  (or  at),  to  enter  for,  apply 
oneself  to  (e.g.  to  go  in  for  honours) ;